Execution of No. 2 shows who is No.1

Execution of No. 2 shows who is No.1

Seoul - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's swift execution of his uncle signalled that the young leader has adopted the "terror politics" employed by his father and grandfather to cement power, experts and media reports said.

"Kim Jong Un is saying he is in power," said Mr Bruce Klingner, former head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency's Korea desk, as reported by Bloomberg on Saturday. "He has taken power politics to an even higher and more brutal level than what his father and his grandfather did."

Jang Song Thaek, 67, was executed last Thursday following a special military tribunal, less than two weeks after he was slapped with charges that ran from corruption to treason.

Mr Kim's quick decision to kill Jang, widely seen as the regime's No. 2, has shown he is following the playbook of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994, when it comes to the eradication of political opponents, said The Korea Times, citing North Korea analysts.

Former leader Kim Il Sung was known for purging his political enemies when he sought to consolidate power in the 1950s.

"Although high-ranking leaders, including members of the Kim family, have been deposed before, we haven't seen anything this public or dramatic since Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, purged his last major rivals in the late 1950s," said Professor Charles Armstrong, a North Korea expert at Columbia University.

"This seems to indicate the divisions within the Kim regime were more serious than previously thought," Prof Armstrong told the New York Times.

Mr Kim Jong Il, the young leader's father, showed no mercy to his enemies either. He purged more than 20,000 key political and military figures and their families through the North's military to solidify his power, according to The Korea Times.

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