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N. Korea purges Jang's associates: Seoul minister

Published on Dec 30, 2013 3:53 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea is purging officials who had been close to Jang Song-Thaek, the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong-Un who was executed this month, a South Korean minister said on Monday.

Jang, once the North's unofficial number two and Kim's political mentor, was executed on December 12 on a array of charges including treason and corruption.

The shock purge - staged in an unusually dramatic and public fashion in the isolated communist state - was the biggest political upheaval since the young ruler took power after the death of his father and the former leader, Kim Jong-Il, two years ago.

Seoul's spy chief earlier this month said two of Jang's associates had also been executed, while Pyongyang reportedly recalled some diplomats or trade officials overseas who were believed to have been close to Jang.

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