N. Korea purge sparked by mineral disputes: Seoul official
SEOUL (AFP) - The shock purge and execution of the North Korean leader's uncle stemmed from his attempts to take control of the country's lucrative coal export business, South Korea's spy chief told lawmakers on Monday.
Jang Song-Thaek, the once-powerful uncle and political regent to young leader Kim Jong-Un, was executed on December 12 on charges which included plotting a coup and corruption.
The execution - the biggest political upheaval since Kim took power two years ago - sparked speculation that Jang had lost out in a power struggle with hardline army generals.
But Nam Jae-Joon, the head of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, said Jang's attempts to secure control of state-run natural resources businesses played a big part in his downfall.