Saturday, April 29, 2017

Will North Korea Start WWIII?


Trump: Presidents Obama, Clinton Were ‘Outplayed’ by North Korea
The Daily Sh*t Show w/ Juan Contreras
Published on Apr 17, 2017
In a preview clip of an interview set to air on Fox News Channel’s Tuesday broadcast of “Fox & Friends,” President Donald Trump said Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were “outplayed” by North Korea.

Trump said, “I don’t want to telegraph what I’m doing or what I’m thinking. I’m not like other administrations, where they say we’re going to do this in four weeks. It doesn’t work that way. We’ll see what happens. I hope things work out well. I hope there’s going to be peace, but they’ve been talking with this gentleman for a long time. You read Clinton’s book and he said, ‘Oh, we made such a great peace deal’ and it was a joke. You look at different things over the years with President Obama. Everybody has been outplayed. They’ve all been outplayed by this gentleman and we’ll see what happens. I just don’t telegraph my moves.”
North Korea: Inside the mind of Kim Jong Un
By Dr. Keith Ablow 
Fox News
Published April 28, 2017
Precious little is known about the psychology of Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea. He reportedly attended school in Switzerland, under a pseudonym, while accompanied by an older student who served as his bodyguard.
Those who purport to have known him well during his education have described him as talented at mathematics and basketball, extremely competitive on the court and a great admirer of American basketball stars. He supposedly spent many hours on detailed pencil drawings of his favorites.
He was, reportedly, tremendously devoted to his father and extremely patriotic. He is, reportedly, married and the father of one or more children. He is said to be less averse to some elements of Western pop culture than his predecessors.  That’s not a whole lot to go on.
I think there’s a reason why not much is known about Kim: Not much exists that defines him as an individual, rather than as the symbol and embodiment of the dynastic dictators, including his father and grandfather, who have ruled North Korea for many decades.  In fact, Kim is said to be a carbon copy of his father, in body type and personality type.
My educated guess—informed by decades listening to a myriad of clients, including political leaders, gang leaders and organized crime figures—is that Kim was prevented from becoming a complete individual by being born into such a powerful, all-consuming family structure.
I have not, of course, interviewed Kim. But my educated guess—informed by decades listening to a myriad of clients, including political leaders, gang leaders and organized crime figures—is that Kim was prevented from becoming a complete individual by being born into such a powerful, all-consuming family structure.  And those whose lives are commandeered by the legacies of others and who, therefore, lose the opportunity to express their real emotions and core interests, do have some things in common.
They are, first of all, filled with desperation and rage and may project it onto others, in irrational ways. The anger of a child, adolescent, teenager and young adult, whose real persona is “executed,” in favor of creating a clone of his dictator father, may know no bounds.
That person, in adulthood, may execute thousands of others, as Kim has reportedly done, rather than reflect upon and truly register his own psychological annihilation. And that person’s rage could even become manifest as an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, coupled with raw hostility toward other nations.
It may seem astounding to think that one human being, suffocated psychologically, could threaten the entire world with his internal fury bent 180 degrees and then released from the cauldron of his psyche, but that is Hitler’s story, too. 
Is Kim Jong Un all bluster? Is the North Korean quest for nuclear arms and the means to deliver them to North America just a ploy to gain more leverage in foreign affairs?
I wouldn’t bet on that. The rage of a boy who may have dreamed of being a basketball player, or an artist, and became the living embodiment of his father, against his will, could project that death upon millions.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.
KIM'S GIRL WARRIORS Kim Jong-un ‘ready to send army of up to 500,000 women soldiers to the frontline’ if war with the US erupts
Battalions of female soldiers took part in the nation’s biggest-ever live firing exercise this week
By Corey Charlton
28th April 2017
NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong-un is ready to send up to 500,000 women soldiers to the front line if war with the US breaks out, according to defectors’ estimates.
Battalions of female soldiers took part in the nation’s biggest-ever live firing exercise to mark the 85th anniversary of its military’s creation this week.
Female North Korean soldiers goose-step through Pyongyang during a recent military parade GETTY IMAGES
Kim Jong-un has all-women battalions ready to send to the frontline, it has been claimed
Unconfirmed reports suggest there could be up to half a million women in the Korean People’s Army and Kim has told the forces they should be ready for war.
In highly staged scenes, the despot was mobbed by emotional female fighters when he watched firing displays from multiple rocket launcher systems late last year.
State news reported Kim had recently organised a female gunner competition.
“He organised this contest all of a sudden and guided it on the spot in order to estimate and confirm the combat capability of women gunners,” reported the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
In the contest, Kim stressed the significance of training women soldiers for the “great war for national unification” and of preparing all gunners to be able to fight anywhere and anytime, said the KCNA.
“To this end, the training of artillery units should be conducted under the simulated conditions of an actual battle,” the KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
“The training irrelevant to an actual war is not necessary no matter how frequently it is conducted, and soldiers would have to pay dearly in combat for such training,” Kim added.
Kim’s army conduct military exercises on a beach in the hermit state
There are fears a second Korean War could erupt amid its plummeting relations with the West
Exact percentages of the number of women in army uniform in North Korea are unknown, though some unverified details have emerged.
It could be as low as ten per cent, but reports from defectors suggest the number could be as high as 40 per cent. This would equate to around 500,000 soldiers given the hermit state has a total of 1.2 million troops.
It is believed one of the main reasons is that thousands of male soldiers starved to death or deserted their posts during the great famine which devastated the impoverished nation in the Nineties.
North Korea puts on a massive live-fire artillery drill as a U.S. submarine docks in the South
As a result, the ruling party has turned to female soldiers to fill the gaps.
North and South Korea have technically been at war since their last conflict ended in 1953 without a peace treaty.
There are fears Kim Jong-Un's missile tests could lead to a second war as both it and the US stage military exercises.
Donald Trump warned yesterday the threat of war with North Korea was very real
Recent military parades in the hermit state were held to mark the anniversary of Kim Jong-un's grandfather's birth
Kim Jong Un just gave the United States ‘the finger’ says Admiral Kirby
Carlos Garcia
28 April 2017
Rear Admiral John Kirby (retired) told CNN that he thought North Korea's recent missile launch was a "middle finger" to the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Retired Rear Admiral and former State Department spokesman John Kirby said that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s missile launch Friday was a “middle finger” to the United States, to China, and the United Nations. He made the comments on CNN to John Berman.
“Admiral,” Berman inquired, “the North Koreans has done a number of missile tests since President Trump has taken office, but again this ones comes after key meetings with China. This one comes after many official statements from the administration and the State Department. You said earlier you think you think this is Kim Jong Un giving the United States, essentially, the finger.”
“I do, I believe that,” Kirby affirmed, “but it’s also Kim giving China the finger. And perhaps even the UN. I do think this was linked in time, and if early reports are accurate and this was launched from a mobile launcher, he can set those things up in relatively short order you don’t need a lot of time and prep. That's actually one of the most dangerous things about the ballistic missile program that he advances is its mobility and the quickness with which he can launch these things.”
“So yeah,” he continued, “I think this this is him sending a signal that for all the tough talk coming out of New York and Washington, and even Beijing of late, he’s not listening, he’s going to pursue his program.”
“The fact that it doesn’t appear to have worked,” Kirby followed up, “the fact that it appears to have exploded shortly after liftoff, does that matter in and of itself, or is the fact that they keep on trying, is that what’s important here?”
“As I’ve said before,” Kirby responded, “I don’t think there’s anything such as failure in this program. Every time he does something like this whether it succeeds beyond his expectations or not, he learns, he adapts, and he folds those lessons in the program going forward.”
Kirby also dismissed those who were downplaying the test just because it wasn’t successful.
“So, I’ve seen the early reports that this thing didn’t go very far,” he said. “If it is a a KS-17 its meant to go between a 1,000 and 3,000 kilometers. Obviously it fell way short of that, but I don’t think we should dismiss this.”
“I think every time he does this, he gets better,” Kirby warned.
The United States had warned North Korea that they were risking military action with their belligerent and threatening missile tests. Trump took to Twitter to castigate the country, saying, “North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!”
This is a Kim Jong-Un double but I couldn't resist posting it as it fits with the previous article.
Inside the secretive, murderous dictatorship of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
Jamie Seidel
News Corp Australia Network
February 17, 2017
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting the test-launch of a surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 at an undisclosed location. Picture: AFP
GAME of Thrones has nothing on Kim Jong-Un. He poisoned his brother. His wife is kept hidden. He executed his uncle by anti-aircraft gun. How long can the North Korean despot keep the lid on 25 million impoverished people?
For Jong-Un, it’s a matter of survival.
He must kill first. Or be killed.
It’s the inevitable paranoia of despotism.
Kim Jong-Un took power in 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il. He’s the third member of the Kim family to rule since the peninsula was divided up after World War II.
It established — and maintained — control through a strict personality cult.
The Kim family is supreme. Knowledge is a threat. All dissent will be brutally suppressed.
Jong-Un has not deviating from this tried and tested method.
People walk past portraits of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. Picture: AP Source:AAP
The 33-year-old has since engaged in a ruthless campaign to secure his position, killing government and military officials he perceived to be a danger. Estimates place the number of his dead up to 350.
But, like all despots, he’s having to play a delicate balancing game.
He has to maintain a degree of support among the general population. So he’s had to keep them fed. He’s even wound back on the number of brutal killings in recent years, go ing so far as to ban public executions.
But, late last year, something changed. His murderous purges have taken a sudden and dramatic upswing.
“There have … been reports of instability in Pyongyang and even of several attempted attacks, including by factions in the North Korean military, against Kim last year,” Waseda University professor in North Korean politics Toshimitsu Shigemura said late last year.
And Kim Jong-Un is determined to remain in control.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un delivering a speech at the First Conference of Chairpersons of the Primary Committees of the Workers' Party of Korea. Picture: AFP
Tens of thousands surge into the streets to celebrate the birthdays of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il. These are the biggest holidays the nation has.
State media lavishes praise on the Kim family. They are depicted as having a touch of the divine — benevolent geniuses who can do no wrong.
Beneath it all is the knowledge that anyone caught muttering under their breaths about their leaders will be sent to prison camps. Or killed.
Whatever trouble is now afflicting Jong-Un’s totalitarian paradise may be related to the defection of his former deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom, Thae Yong-ho, in August last year.
Mr Thae vowed to expose the “gruesome realities” of life under the dictatorship.
“There are many ranking North Korean officials suffering from depression over concerns they will have to live like slaves for a long time if the North’s young leader rules the country for decades,” South Korean parliamentarians have quoted Mr Thae as saying.
Pyongyang retaliated, accusing Mr Thae of fleeing charges of embezzlement and child sexual abuse.
But there is little Mr Thae can say that will surprise.
Kim Jong-Nam (front row), the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, together with his father (front row), late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. Picture: AAP
North Korea is a nation with no human rights. All people, at all levels of society, are subject to the whim of those holding station above them.
Oppression is a part of everyday life. Even haircuts are tightly regulated.
Filming anything — even family events — is considered treason. But photos and footage has been steadily seeping out during the past decade. Digital cameras are not hard to conceal.
They show speakers on every street corner, replaying endless loops of the tyrant’s speeches. Every village is filled with monuments to the Kim family (Jong-Un has spent $US180 million on memorialising his lineage). But on the ragged streets are gaunt pedestrians wearing ragged, patched clothes.
More than one in every 100 North Koreans is now a political prisoner. It’s a harsh fact revealed by satellite photos showing of the never-ending growth of the nation’s prison camps.
Watching banned Western movies. Listening to prohibited music. Possessing illegal radios. These offences represent a grave threat to Jong-Un’s carefully crafted mythology. He cannot afford for his people to find out life could be so much better.
Any more serious dissent is likely to be met with a death sentence.
Even among family.
People in Pyongyang watching a public broadcast about the launch of a surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 at an undisclosed location in February. Picture: AFP Source:AFP
Being of the blood of dynasty founder Kim Il-Sung is still the definition of legitimate power in North Korea. But the Machiavellian moves of Pyongyang court politics make the bloodbaths of Game of Thrones appear mild.
Any and all potential rivals must be eliminated.
That includes family.
Most dramatic was the brutal execution of his uncle General Jang Song-thaek in 2013 on charges of corruption. He was blown to pieces by an anti-aircraft cannon and driven over by tanks before his scattered remains were burnt with a flamethrower.
When his wife, King Jong-Un’s aunt — Kim Kyong-hui — protested, she was poisoned. All remaining members of her family (Jong-Un’s cousins) were shot dead, including those who were ambassadors to Malaysia and Cuba.
The recent low public profile of Jong-Un’s own wife, Ri Sol Ju, may be both a sign and a symptom of Jong-Un’s insecurity. Was she involved in a plot? Or does he fear for her life?
The pair married in 2012 and initially appeared inseparable. Hardly a photo opportunity was missed to show the happy young couple enjoying the prosperity of a happy populace.
North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung flanked by his son Kim Jong-Il and daughter Kim Kyong-hui in the garden of their home capital Pyongyang in 1963. Source:AP
All that changed in 2015. Ri would vanish from the public eye for months, leading to speculation as to her fate. After a seven month absence, the 27-year-old Ri suddenly appeared in December — this time at Jong-Un’s side during an air-combat training exercise.
While the ruling couple have no official offspring, said they have a daughter.
The succession remains an issue, however.
Jong-Un’s surviving brother and sister aren’t seen as much of a threat. While Kim Yo-Jong are believed to hold positions within his administration, North Korea is a patriarchal society. The chances of a woman rising to any kind of power is seen to be very slim.
His brother Kim Jong-chul has next to no public profile. Without a circle of friends or an official job, he’s not likely to be seen as a threat.
But the murder of the eldest brother, Kim Jong-Nam, earlier this week can be seen as almost inevitable. There has been persistent speculation that China — increasingly embarrassed by the rogue behaviour of their closest neighbour — had been grooming him as a ‘ruler-in-waiting’. All it would take for Beijing to unseat Jong-Un was for the dictator to take things one step too far.
Now, though, Jong-Un has removed that option from the table.
And he’s been busily whittling down any fresh potential source of internal opposition.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Nam, right, the murdered half brother of Kim Jong Un, in Narita, Japan, on May 4, 2001. Picture: AP Source: AP
Jong-Un’s actions surpass anything his ruthless father was accused of.
One of his first — and most dramatic — public displays of power was the murder of a vice-minister for the army in 2012. He was accused of partying during Kim Jong-Il’s official mourning period.
He was made to walk across the target of a mortar live-fire exercise.
Now death-sentences are being handed out for the most trivial offences.
In August last year, a deputy prime minister was accused of ‘disrespectful posture’. He was executed by firing squad.
Death by anti-aircraft cannon returned to the execution repertoire in 2015.
It has since become recognised as Jong-Un’s signature.
Men transport gas cylinders as they pass a woman talking on a mobile phone near an apartment block at the start of a work week in Pyongyang, North Korea. Picture: AP Source
This time it was a Defence Minister. He was accused of falling asleep during an event attended by the young despot. He was reportedly blasted to pieces in front of a crowd of several hundred.
Then, in August last year, an agricultural minister and education official met a similar fate on the parade ground of a Pyongyang military academy.
A defector recently told South Korean officials: “It was something that you can’t dare to look at with your eyes wide open … The brutal killing of the people using an anti-aircraft machine gun was unprecedented in North Korean history and has only been witnessed in the Kim Jong-un era. You will hardly confront Kim once you see an execution.”
The launch of a surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Picture: AFP
Which, of course, is the whole point.
The executions are likely a show of force in retaliation for several high-profile defections and increased talk of government instability and disunity.
But the butcher’s bill is beginning to exact a toll.
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byng-se said last year that a record number of members of North’s well educated, and relatively privileged, ruling classes had begun slipping across the borders.
He said he believed it to be a sign of deep cracks emerging within the reclusive regime.
Buildings are seen in the morning light from the top of the Juche Tower in Pyongyang, North Korea. Picture: AP
In January, Jong-Un’s long-term right hand man — chief of secret police General Kim Won-hong — was fired from his trusted position and demoted. He’s just one of a long list of high-ranking officials to have lost status in recent weeks. They remain subjects of ongoing internal investigations.
“Kim Won-hong has been a key aide to Kim Jong-un and has buttressed his reign of terror,” spokesman for the South’s Unification Ministry Jeong Joon-hee said. “His dismissal could further deepen unrest among officials and add to the instability of the regime by weakening its control on the people.”
Shoring up support may prove difficult.
Jong-Un has spent almost $US300 million of his nation’s scarce cash reserves on developing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them.
Kim Won-hong, Kim Jong-Un’s right hand man who was fired. Picture: AP
He’s also spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a lavish personal lifestyle, as well as extravagant luxury imports and public building projects — such as a ski resort — that suit his own tastes.
He has a bulletproof train. A $US7 million, 30ft yacht. Personal cinemas. Sports cars. Racehorses. And an enormous collection of designer sports shoes.
Imported designer watches and high-end liquor are frequent gifts intended to keep officials on-side.
But his nation barely even has a middle class. And the number of impoverished is enormous.
Keeping the lid on dissent at the top may be solved by a few anti-aircraft shells, analysts say.
But suppressing the resentment of the masses may prove another matter.
Particularly as North Korea is one of the most militarised nations on Earth, with five million active and reserve personnel.
Jong-Un cannot rely on ignorance much longer. Despite repeated crackdowns and overwhelming penalties, personal digital devices are said to be pervading North Korean society.
The despot ruler is no longer the only one to enjoy foreign movies.
These open a window to the possibility of a better life.
Kim Jong-Un faces a rising tide of dissent. And he knows only one way to face it.
Kim Jong-un is loved by everyone?
North Korean defector: Kim Jong Un's days are numbered
By Kyung Lah, CNN
Wed September 9, 2015
(CNN)He's a fairly young man, wearing an ill-fitting suit. His thin neck is pronounced, giving way to an equally thin face and frame. We're meeting over a meal of sushi, something he specifically requested because it's rare for those trapped in North Korea.
For his safety, I'll limit descriptions of this defector. We've agreed that I can say he worked among the elites in Pyongyang. He is by far, the most recent defector I've ever interviewed; he's only been in the free world for a year.
CNN found him through university researchers, working in conjunction with the South Korean government, who verified his status as a North Korean defector.
He stresses that revealing much more than these few details could endanger his family, still trapped in the Hermit Kingdom. He also fears North Korea could manage to hunt him down in his new life. But he's talking to me to get a message to the West out.
He believes that among North Korea's dictators, the dynasty of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and now Kim Jong Un, "It is Kim Jong Un's regime that is the most unstable. And it is going to be the shortest."
U.S. Defense Secretary: North Korea has no chance of victory against the U.S.
'False image'
The defector begins to explain why he feels that way. In 2011, Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, died. Kim Jong Un took over and "tried his best," says the defector. He gave gifts, and in a public appearance, allowed his voice to be broadcast on North Korean state run television. The perception among the people was that life was about to improve inside North Korea.
"It was a false image," he says.
In December 2013, the regime announced the second most powerful man in North Korea, Jang Song Thaek, was being expelled from the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. Jang was accused of a litany of crimes, from obstructing the nation's economic affairs to anti-party acts. The allegations stunned for several reasons, primarily for who the regime fingered -- Jang is Kim's uncle.
"Kim Jong Un revealed his true side," says the defector. Jang's arrest was broadcast on state television, followed by a statement calling him "despicable human scum, worse than a dog." State media then announced he was executed.
New North Korea: Short shirts and synthesizers?
Murderous rampage
The current Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, may have tossed his people into political prisons or allowed them to starve. But he didn't go on a murderous rampage of his own inner circle, says the defector.
Kim Jong Un took the opposite approach with his elites. Jang was just one of a number of the ruling class Kim Jong Un began to purge, as the young leader flexed his dictatorial muscles.
The outside world waited to see any fallout or any reaction among North Korea's people. There was nothing. But within North Korea's upper echelons, the defector says the reaction was silent but sweeping.
"I can tell you for sure the North Koreans who are in the upper middle class don't trust Kim Jong Un. I was thinking about leaving North Korea for a long time. After seeing the execution of Jang, I thought, 'I need to hurry up and leave this hell on earth.' That's why I defected."
Tired of conflict: Life near the Korean demilitarized zone
Risky escape
He made a risky, harrowing escape, telling no one he knew that he would attempt to defect. I've agreed not to reveal how he escaped, again for his safety. Suffice it to say, the chance of his capture or death was extraordinarily high.
But fear of death trying to escape paled in comparison to remaining under Kim Jong Un's power, says the defector. After Kim's purge of his inner circle, the defector says he witnessed a change among Pyongyang's upper class. "They are terrified. The fear grows more intense every day."
But across North Korea, support for the regime remains high, according to a survey by the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University. Since 2008, the institute has surveyed more than 100 defectors each year, the most comprehensive year-on-year examination of recent defectors.
In 2012, just as Kim Jong Un took control of the regime, defectors in the survey perceived support at more than 70%. In 2014, their latest survey of 146 defectors shows that while they perceive support of Kim Jong Un remains high, it has dropped to 58%.
The institute's senior researcher, Chang Yong Seok, says the results should not be read as generalized facts due to the small pool of respondents. But they do also give a year-on-year snapshot of what internal support of the regime looks like.
Perceived support for Kim Jong Un as gauged by North Korean defectors in the South.
Growing confidence
Chang believes the purging of the elites shows that "Kim Jong Un is showing confidence. It shows that Kim Jong Un is gaining confidence in his power."
He believes the executions show Kim Jong Un is feeling more stable than the outside world perceives. But the defectors' opinions reveal that the dictator is at risk of losing the trust and support of his power base.
"The issue is with the future. How much trust Kim Jong Un can gain from his elites after the purges. The elites could be feeling anxious. There is a possibility that their loyalty and support will weaken."
The defector I'm interviewing is confident in his opinion that the elites' loyalty has deteriorated and will continue along that path. He says that conviction is how he was able to leave his family behind, because he believes he will reunite with them one day.
"I can tell you for sure, the North Korean regime will collapse within 10 years," he says without hesitation.
"Kim Jong Un is mistaken that he can control his people and maintain his regime by executing his enemies. There's fear among high officials that at any time, they can be targets. The general public will continue to lose their trust in him as a leader by witnessing him being willing to kill his own uncle."
The defector is guessing, of course -- the same way he's guessing someone in Kim Jong Un's inner circle may be driven to assassinate the dictator, or that a provocation with the U.S. or South Korea will backfire on the regime.
But there is one thing that he is sure of.
"There is no collapse of North Korea while Kim Jong Un is alive. We can only expect the opening or reform of North Korea when Kim Jong Un is removed by an external power. North Korea will not collapse as long as Kim Jong Un lives."
North and South Korea agree to family reunions
Inside the Hell Called North Korea Where No One, Including Children, Is Safe
ABC News
Published on Feb 17, 2014
More allegations of cruelty by the young leader Kim Jong-Un could put him on trial for crimes against humanity.
Kim Jong-un Executes his Uncle: Downfall and Death of North Korea's Strongman Jang Song-thaek
By Sanskrity Sinha
Updated December 13, 2013
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his uncle Jang Song-thaek attend a military parade in 2012. (Reuters)
In what has been described as extreme brutality of the North Korean regime, the country's current ruler Kim Jong-un has executed his uncle, Jang Song-thaek.
The once-powerful uncle of Jong-un and considered the strong man of North Korea, Jang was executed for treason, the state media KCNA announced, alleging that Thaek attempted to "overthrow the state".
Jang, 67, was killed just days ahead of the second death anniversary of Kim Jong Il, the father of Jong-un.
"If confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime," the White House said in a statement.
Before his downfall and death, Jang was often pictured beside Jong-un. He was married to the aunt (Kim Jong II's younger sister) of Kim and was known as his nephew's mentor or key policy adviser ever since Jong-un came to power upon his father's death in 2011.
The North Korean state media called Jang "worse than a dog" in its report announcing his execution.
China's President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Jang song-thaek, in Beijing, 17 August, 2012. Thaek supported Chinese-style economic reforms and was an important link between Pyongyang and Beijing. (Reuters)
North Korea announced in early December that Jang had been removed from his military post on charges of corruption, drug use, gambling, womanising and generally leading a "dissolute and depraved life".
It also emerged that two of the aides of Jang had been executed.
According to state media, Jang admitted his crimes in court and a death sentence was immediately executed.
Analysts view Jang's execution as a move by Kim to strengthen his own power but fear that his sudden fall from grace and death could lead to instability in the region.
Kim Jong-un and Jang Song-thaek accompany the hearse carrying the coffin of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during his funeral procession in Pyongyang. (Reuters)
Jang Song-thaek mentored Kim Jong-un when he became the supreme leader two years ago and was pictured alongside him often. (Reuters)
Jang Song-thaek mentored Kim Jong-un when he became the supreme leader two years ago and was pictured alongside him often. (Reuters)
A man walks past televisions showing reports on the execution of Jang Song Thaek at an electronic store in Seoul December 13, 2013. (Reuters)
Ex-gf of N. Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed amid claims she appeared in sex tape
Daily Mail
Updated: 30 Aug 2013
Executed: Hyon Song-wol, right, has apparently been put to death by her ex-boyfriend Kim Jong Un, left
The killing has led to speculation Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju (left) was to blame
Hyon Song-wol
Popular: Hyon rose to fame with her hit song A Girl in the Saddle of a Steed, or 'Excellent Horse-Faced Lady'
The former lover of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has been executed by machine gun amid claims that she had been appearing in pornographic videos.
And the brutal killing of singer Hyon Song-wol – and 11 other entertainers said to have performed on the videos – immediately led to speculation that Kim’s jealous wife was to blame.
Hyon was among a dozen singers, musicians and dancers from two pop groups who were machine-gunned to death on August 20.
Because Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, was once a member of the same group as the executed singer, North Korea analysts suggested that she might have given her consent to the execution.
Fuelling the speculation, there have been rumours that her husband was still seeing Hyon.
A source in China, the only ally of the secretive Stalinist nation, told a South Korean newspaper that the entertainers were arrested on August 17 for violating laws on pornography.
It was reported that they were accused of making videos of themselves performing sex acts and then selling the recordings.
Some of the musicians were also reported to have had Bibles, which are banned in North Korea, when they were detained and all were treated as political dissidents.
Without facing trial Hyon, said to be 28, and other members of North Korea’s most famous pop groups were marched in front of a firing squad and gunned down while their families and other members of the groups were ordered to watch.
The victims’ families and friends were then taken away to a labour camp, having been found ‘guilty by association’.
North Korea has very little contact with the outside world and it is unlikely that the reason for the execution will ever be confirmed.
But Professor Toshimitsu Shigemura, a Japanese expert on Korean affairs, said it was ‘simply not believable’ the entertainers were executed for making pornography, as they could simply have been made to ‘disappear’ in the prison system. He said: ‘As Kim’s wife once belonged to the same group, it is possible that these executions are more about Kim’s wife.’
Kim, 30, who succeeded his late father as supreme leader of North Korea in 2011, met Hyon ten years ago when he returned from studying in Switzerland. However, his father, Kim Jong-il, disapproved of the relationship and ordered the friendship to end.
Hyon went on to marry an officer in the North Korean military and is believed to have had a baby.
But rumours circulated that Kim was still secretly seeing her, which might account for reports that he was seen with a mystery woman in the months before his marriage to Ri, which was disclosed last July. Ri and Kim are said to have a baby daughter.
Such is the secrecy surrounding Kim’s life it was initially reported that Ri was the singer who performed a series of bizarrely titled patriotic songs that had, apparently, stirred the nation.
However, it was really Hyon who had recorded Footsteps of Soldiers, I Love Pyongyang, She is a Discharged Soldier and We are Troops of the Party.
Ri was also given credit for Excellent Horse-Like Lady – also known as A Girl in the Saddle of a Steed – another of Hyon’s songs.
Kim has already displayed the ruthlessness that has made his family the world’s only communist dynasty, beginning with grandfather Kim Il-sung at the end of the Korean War in 1953.
He is said to have purged his stepmother from her position as a senior official in the ruling party to show his absolute power and had a minister executed by mortar round for showing disrespect by drinking during the official mourning period after Kim Jong-il’s death.