Page 2 of 2 Previous
There was no immediate word about the fate of Jang's wife, Kim Kyong Hui, the younger sister of Kim Jong Il, although some analysts believe that because she is directly related to the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung, and has been reportedly ill, she may be spared Jang's fate. She was also seen as an important mentor to Kim Jong Un after her brother's 2011 death.
The White House said that "if confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime."
The KCNA report was unusually specific in its accusations at times. For instance, it criticized Jang for not rising and applauding his nephew's appointment to a senior position because Jang "thought that if Kim Jong Un's base and system for leading the army were consolidated, this would lay a stumbling block in the way of grabbing the power."
One resident in Pyongyang, Kim Un Song, a doctor at a hospital, said she was surprised at the news but supported the execution.
"We trust and believe only in Marshal Kim Jong Un. Anti-revolutionary elements can't shake our faith. I don't know if there are more out there, but they will never shake our faith," she said. "It's very good that he was executed."
Klug reported from Seoul, South Korea. AP correspondent Hyung-jin Kim contributed to this story from Seoul.