All Living Relatives Of Kim Jung Un’s Uncle Reportedly Executed

Jang Soong Removal 3

Reports out of North Korea are indicating that pretty much all of the living direct relatives of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle to Kim Jong Un who was executed some time late in 2013, have been put to death:

North Korea has reportedly put to death all direct relatives of the uncle of leader Kim Jong-Un, Jang Song-thaek, who was executed last month for “attempting to overthrow the state”.

Children were among those killed on Mr Kim’s instructions, as were North Korea’s ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, citing multiple sources.

“Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song-thaek,” one source told Yonhap on condition of anonymity.

“All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children.”

The relatives, who were reportedly recalled to Pyongyang in early December and executed, include Jang’s sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband Jon Yong-jin, the ambassador to Cuba, and the ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, who is a nephew of Jang, as well as his two sons.

The sons, daughters and even grandchildren of Jang’s two brothers were also executed, Yonhap reported, adding that it was unclear exactly when they were put to death.

“Some relatives were shot to death by pistol in front of other people if they resisted while being dragged out of their apartment homes,” the news agency said, citing a source.

Relatives by marriage, including the ambassador to Cuba’s wife, were spared and sent to remote villages along with their maiden families, a source reportedly said.

Also missing from the list is  Kim Kyong-hui, Jang’s wife and the sister of Kim’s father Kim Jong Il. She seems to have survived this purge, although admittedly a public announcement that a direct descendant of the country’s founder and sister of its second leader had been involved in alleged treachery may not be something that the regime would want to publicize. At the very least this report, if true, would seem to indicate that any hope that the rise of a younger Kim would bring about change in North Korea was naive to say the least.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ron Beasley says:

    Well at least we can now be certain that Kim Jung Un is indeed a psychopath. A psychopath with nukes, pretty scary.

  2. Tillman says:

    That’s ludicrously thorough.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    How very Roman.

  4. legion says:

    “All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children.”

    Wait a minute… wouldn’t that include…

  5. Dave D says:

    The other option is that Kim Kyong-hui is already dead due to her chronic illnesses. Originally it had been speculated Kim the younger would wait until she died to execute his uncle, but he probably knew that too and may have made a power play early. As with the rest of news out of the Hermit Kingdom one can merely speculate.

  6. dazedandconfused says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I wonder if Jr. is the guy running things in there. The Romans had some periods where the Praetorian Guard hired and “fired” their bosses. There is something odd about how he starts his reign with inviting Disney characters and Dennis Rodman, but then offs the guy doing the most to open the place up.

  7. PJ says:


    Wait a minute… wouldn’t that include…

    They are related through marriage, not blood.

  8. walt moffett says:


    Look up Songun Politics or Idea on DPRK sites. It usually translates as army first and dates back to Kim Il Jong.

  9. wr says:

    Does this come from the same source that told us the uncle was eaten to death by dogs?

    I have no idea if this is true or not — but at least I know I have no idea. It’s perfectly possible that this happened. It’s just as possible that this is as true as the Iraqi army ripping millions of babies out of incubators in Kuwait or the evil Polish government committing atrocities against German Poles in 1939.

    Unsourced “reports” from a closed society mean nothing. If you don’t even know who is spreading them, you have no idea why they’re being spread.

    So drawing any conclusion — even prefacing it with the standard “if this is true” just moves everyone further away from reality.

  10. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @wr: An interesting and thoughtful point. Thank you.

  11. Dave D says:

    @wr: No the dog thing came from a news source in Singapore and picked up in China, Taiwan and Japan. This came from Yonhap which is a reliable newspaper in SK which seemingly has defector sources.