International condemnation of North Korean execution

The execution of the uncle of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is evidence of the "recklessness" of the country's leader, says the US Secretary of State John Kerry.

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US condemns 'reckless' North Korean leader

Kerry, speaking during a tour of Vietnam, says the execution showed internal instability in N Korea. Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has described North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "reckless" and "insecure" after the execution of his powerful uncle, according to an ABC News interview.

The execution of Jan Song Thaek, who was considered the second most powerful man in the secretive country, showed why the world must make a united stand against North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Mr Kerry said in the interview taped for Sunday broadcast on ABC's "This Week" program.

Mr Kerry said the nature of "this ruthless, horrendous dictatorship" and Kim's insecurities raised the stakes for China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to "stay on the same page" and push ahead on denuclearization.

"To have a nuclear weapon potentially in the hands of somebody like Kim Jong Un just becomes even more unacceptable," Kerry told ABC.

No 10: Execution is evidence of 'extreme brutality'

The execution of the uncle of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un is further evidence of the "extreme brutality" of the country's regime, Downing Street has said.

Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman told reporters at a daily Westminster press briefing: "If this is confirmed, it is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime."


Kim Jong-un's uncle edited from official documentaries

Kim Jong-un's executed uncle has been edited from official documentaries about the North Korean leader's life.

Jang Song-thaek can be seen behind Kim Jong-un without a hat. Credit: APTN

Jang Song-thaek, previously considered the second most powerful man in the country, could be seen in the background of a documentary on Kim's military inspection trips that aired on October 28.

In the version that aired on Saturday, Jang Song-thaek can not be seen. Credit: APTN

However, when the documentary was repeated on Saturday Jang had vanished - he had been cut out of the shot.

North Korea brands executed uncle 'worse than a dog'

Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un and previously considered the second most powerful man in the secretive state, has been executed after a special military tribunal found him guilty of treason.

Jang Song-thaek gestures to Kim Jong-un earlier this month. Credit: REUTERS/Jason Lee

In an unusually detailed announcement, the official news agency KCNA said Jang had been tried for "such hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state".

It called him a "traitor to the nation for all ages" and "worse than a dog".

White House: 'Execution' example of brutal regime

Jang Song-thaek was reportedly executed by the regime. Credit: Reuters

The White House has said if the execution of Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of the North Korean leader, is confirmed it is another example of the "extreme brutality" of the country's regime.

Officials said there was no reason to doubt KCNA's reports of the execution, but they were following developments in the country and consulting allies in the region.


Uncle of North Korean leader tried to 'overthrow state'

Jang Song-thaek (L) has been executed. Credit: Reuters

The uncle of Kim Jong-Un was executed because he was found guilty of attempting to "overthrow the state", according to state news.

Jang Song Thaek is widely credited with helping Kim Jong-Un to power following the death of Kim Jong-il two years ago.

Authorities said Jang was executed immediately after a military tribunal had decided his fate.

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