dear leader

Kim Jong-un’s Uncle Ousted for ‘Corruption,’ Partying Too Much

Photo released by the KCNA news agency on April 1 shows that Kim Jong-un, leader of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), speaks during a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the DPRK in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK, on March 31, 2013.
Photo: KCNA/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Last week, South Korean intelligence officials said that Kim Jong-un’s onetime second-in-command, his uncle Jang Song Thaek, had been dismissed from the administration. (Two of Jang’s associates were also reportedly executed.) Today, North Korea’s state-run news agency confirmed that Jang was out, and offered the official story as to why: Jang became “affected by the capitalist way of living” and mismanaged the country’s financial system, committed criminal acts of “corruption,” and “led a dissolute and depraved life” characterized by drug and alcohol abuse and womanizing. He was also accused of being “engrossed in such factional acts (such) as dreaming different dreams,” which probably sounds less silly in Korean. Still, the translation makes it very difficult to imagine Jang (who is believed to be alive and unharmed) being escorted from his office to anything other than the principal song from Man of La Mancha.

Kim’s Uncle Ousted for ‘Corruption,’ Partying