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Purged North Korean official cut from film

  • December 7, 2013 - 5:11 PM

North Korea’s state-run television Saturday broadcast a rerun of a propaganda documentary about its leader, Kim Jong Un, after deleting all footage showing his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, who South Korean intelligence officials believe was dismissed from all his posts.

The erasing of Jang from the documentary was the clearest sign yet that Jang, who had long been considered the second most influential man in the reclusive government, has fallen from power. Jang, 67, is the husband of the sister of Kim Jong Il. The North’s Korean Central Television ran the hourlong propaganda film nine times between Oct. 7 and Oct. 28, said the national news agency Yonhap of South Korea. The documentary featured Kim’s military-related activities. When the documentary was run again Saturday, Jang was nowhere to be seen.

Analysts recently began suspecting that Jang was in trouble. Last year he was widely considered a caretaker of his nephew, helping Kim consolidate power inherited from his father, Kim Jong Il, who died in late 2011. But two of his most trusted aides were executed late last month for corruption, the National Intelligence Service of South Korea said. And Jang’s brother-in-law and nephew, both ambassadors abroad, have been recalled home, the spy agency said.

New York Times

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