In a truly horrifying twist to the recent power struggle in North Korea between leader Kim Jong Un and his powerful uncle, Jang Song Thaek, it now appears the North Korean dictator may have fed his uncle alive to a pack of wild dogs. From NBC News:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful uncle was stripped naked, thrown into a cage, and eaten alive by a pack of ravenous dogs, according to a newspaper with close ties to China's ruling Communist Party....
Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po reported that Jang and his five closest aides were set upon by 120 hunting hounds which had been starved for five days.
Kim and his brother Kim Jong Chol supervised the one-hour ordeal along with 300 other officials, according to Wen Wei Po. The newspaper added that Jang and other aides were "completely eaten up."
Previous reports stated that Thaek was 'executed' and his conspirators shot by anti air craft machine guns. Thaek, who was married to Kim Jong Un's aunt, was subjected to a very public show trial and accused of plotting against the state. CNN reported:
Kim accused Jang and his allies of double-dealing behind the scenes, "dreaming different dreams" and selling the country's resources at cheap prices, thereby threatening North Korea's economic development, according to a KCNA statement this week.
"Jang desperately worked to form a faction within the party by creating illusion about him and winning those weak in faith and flatterers to his side," the statement said.
The statement accused Jang of womanizing, drug use, gambling, eating at expensive restaurants and undergoing medical treatment in a foreign country.
Friday's KCNA report accused Jang of having distributed pornographic pictures among his confidants and having taken at least 4.6 million euros (US $6.3 million) "from his secret coffers and squandered it in 2009 alone."
Given North Korea is almost completely off limits to foreign reporters, it is impossible to tell whether the latest revelations are true. Specialist North Korean sites like NK News are indicating that while the story is very realistic, mainstream media organizations are prone to exaggeration when it comes to the hermitic nation. As NBC reported, the pro Communist Wen Wei Po newspaper "Has acted as a mouthpiece for China's Communist Party. The report may be a sign of the struggle between those in the party who want to remain engaged with North Korea and those who would like to distance themselves from Kim's regime."
If reports from prisons in North Korea are anything to go by however, Thaek's execution would not be out of the ordinary. A former prison guard reported that guards would kill prisoners by far worse methods, and given Thaek directly challenged the authority of Kim Jong Un, it's not exactly a stretch to believe he was subjected to a gruesome death.