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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.
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 executed uncle has been edited from official documentaries about the North Korean leader's life.
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.
However, when the documentary was repeated on Saturday Jang had vanished - he had been cut out of the shot.
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.
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".
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.
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.
The uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been executed, the state news agency KCNA said.
Jang Song Thaek was removed from the North Korean regime amid claims of corruption, drug use and a long list of other "anti-state" acts.
Latest ITV News reports
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