The uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was executed for allegedly trying to overthrow the government, the Korean Central News Agency reported early Friday. Jang Song Thaek, the 30-year-old leader’s uncle, was labeled a traitor in the headlines of North Korea news -- a shocking announcement for many, no doubt, since he was regarded as the second-most powerful figure in the country.
According to CNN, KCNA said he was as "despicable human scum" and "worse than a dog," But that wasn’t all. He was also apparently a “traitor for all ages” and had reportedly betrayed his party and leader.
Marcus Noland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, explained to CNN that the news was shocking. "This is a stunning development," Noland said. "I've been following North Korea for 20 years and I do not remember them ever publicly announcing the execution of a senior leader. You hear rumors about it, but this theatrical arrest earlier in the week and now this execution are unprecedented."
He added, "The regime, I think, is trying to intimidate anyone that might have independent ideas or harbor any ambitions."
Washington echoed Noland’s sentiment about North Korea sending a warning. State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said explained: "The regime's ruthlessness toward one of its leading members is a reminder of how far North Korea and its new leadership is outside of international norms of behavior."
Twitter, never shy about poking its head into international affairs, joked that the North Korean leader killed his uncle after he discovered a picture of Jang Song Thaek giving him a “noogie.” Someone else insinuated Kim had his uncle executed due to pent up resentment over the old “I got ya nose” gag. Though it’s strange news to hear that Kim offed his uncle, it’s unlikely it was over a childhood grudge. Nevertheless, some of the tweets were pretty comical. Check out was Twitterati had to say below:
REPORT: Kim Jong Un executes uncle after going through family albums and seeing that he was once on the receiving end of a noogie.
— Brian Hope (@Brianhopecomedy) December 12, 2013
Kim Jong Un gets to kill his family members but I make one little stab at my aunt and Thanksgiving is "ruined" because murder is "illegal."
— Conor Bond (@bondoooooo) December 12, 2013
I always hated when my uncle did that whole "Got your Nose" thing. I think Kim Jong Un overreacted a bit.
— Patriot Lemonade (@PatriotLemonade) December 12, 2013
Kim Jong Un executed his own uncle. I haven't seen family killing their own family like this since the Sons of the Anarchy finale.
— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) December 13, 2013
Kim Jong Un's uncle left the toilet seat up and Kim Jong Un fell in so he had his uncle excuted.
— B to the G (@BTTG161) December 13, 2013
Kim Jong Un is one cold hearted dude. He had his uncle put to death for watching color TV.
— Sunny Chiba (@iamsunnychiba) December 13, 2013
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella
Maria Vultaggio is a reporter for the Continuous News Desk (CND), where she covers trending topics and breaking news for the International Business Times....