Just when we thought having one's uncle getting executed unimaginable, Jang Song Thaek, uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un executed on the grounds of treason, was killed after being stripped naked and fed to a pack of dogs, according to a report by The Independent.
Jang Song Thaek was described by the North Korean press as a "despicable human scum, worse than a dog." Additional reporting on the second most powerful man in the Hermit Kingdom suggest that he may have met his end in the jaws of dogs, according to Wen Wei Po, a Hong Kong-based, state-backed newspaper.
According to newspaper accounts, Jang Song Thaek together with five of his aides were stripped naked and fed to 120 hungry hounds. The report said that the hounds were starved for three days. The execution lasted for an hour and government officials watched as Jang Song Thaek and his aides were eaten by dogs.
However, the execution and dog-feeding accounts were not confirmed by North Korea, although the Singaporean Straits Times claims that the account by the Chinese-backed newspaper means that Beijing is displeased with the changing regime. Currently, the Chinese state media has not released any consistent editorial line about the unfolding events in North Korea.
There is also a noticeable inconsistency in the Wen Wei Po report. It was previously reported by other news outlets that Jang Song Thaek's aides were executed via anti-aircraft machine guns.
"I put no cruelty past the North Korean regime, but it does sound extreme even for them," Aidan Foster-Carter, a senior research fellow in Sociology and Modern Korea at Leeds University, told The Independent. "In the recent past, they did have an effigy of the South Korean president mauled by dogs."
"However the killing of Jang Song Thaek has been an episode of state terrorism and the fact they did purge him and it was done so publicly shows that the military and Kim Jong un is trying to warn people not to revolt and how savage punishments can been," Foster-Carter added.
According to The Independent, Kim Jong-un, in his New Year's message, described his 67-year-old uncle's as the removal of "factionalist filth."