Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Executed By Dogs?

Jang Song Removal 2

If a report out of a Singapore newspaper is to be believed, the execution of Jang Soong Thaek, uncle to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was particularly brutal:

BEIJING — 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.

The report could not be independently confirmed by NBC News on Friday.

Jang Song Thaek, who had been considered Kim’s second-in-command, wasexecuted last month after being found guilty of “attempting to overthrow the state,” North Korea’s state-run news agency reported.

The official North Korean account on Dec. 12 did not specify how Jang was put to death.

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.

As noted it’s hard to judge the veracity of this report as it could very well be part of an internal struggle among China’s leadership about how to deal with recent developments in the China’s increasingly bizarre neighbor. If it’s true, though, then it reveals a level of cruelty in Kim that rivals some of the worst dictators in recent history even though it’s hard to feel sorry for Jang given that he was at the right hand of the Kim family for decades as they committed numerous human rights violations in the name of consolidating their dictatorial power.

Update: Max Fisher throws cold water on the story.

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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. rudderpedals says:

    Man, that’s ruff. Word has it he used capitalist running dogs. Michael Vick is on the way to talk about “basketball”.

  2. C. Clavin says:

    From what I read elsewhere China is saying 300 other executives watched.
    Truly medieval.
    On one hand I hope it’s true…it’ll be very disappointing if a story this awesome turns out to be phony.
    On the other hand…I doubt that little weasel is really bad-ass enough to do it.

  3. JWH says:

    Max Fisher throws cold water on the story.

    So the media were barking up the wrong tree?

  4. Franklin says:

    I bet he wasn’t as delicious as Gerald Ford.

  5. john personna says:


    I thought it was Sean Penn and Danny Glover … and cats.

  6. Surreal American says:

    The most difficult part to believe of this story was that something in North Korea (apart from the ruling clique) was starved for only 5 days.

  7. ernieyeball says:

    @rudderpedals: Word has it he used capitalist running dogs.

    I always thought they were running dog capitalist pigs.
    Which reminds me of stories I heard while I was working storm damage for telephone companies in rural areas of the midwest after tornadoes ripped up the countryside. The story went that sometimes the pig farmer would be dead and half eaten by the swine when found.
    Of course these are stories. It could all be hogwash!

  8. roger says:

    “Smithers! Release the hounds!”
    “But Sir, he’s your uncle.”
    “Fine. He can leave his boxers on.”