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TV footage further hints at purge of N. Korean leader's uncle

All Headlines 18:15 December 07, 2013

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's powerful uncle was removed from a documentary film re-run on the country's main TV station Saturday, raising further speculation that he has been ousted from power.

Earlier this week, Seoul's spy agency said Jang Song-thaek appears to have been removed from all of his party posts, with two of his close confidants being publicly executed in connection with the reported purge.

In a documentary footage re-run on the North's Korean Central Television Station about the leader's visit to a military unit monitored in Seoul by Yonhap News Agency, Jang was found to be conspicuously removed from several scenes.

The original version, aired nine times on the same television in October, had showed the uncle closely accompanying the leader on the inspection trip.

In the disappeared scenes, Jang, then a vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, was walking side by side with Kim and clapped hands while the leader shook hands with a commander.

Taking him out from the film is likely to indicate that Jang's reported purge is true, as it is Pyongyang's habitual step following its epuration, though the communist country has remained silent about Jang's case, Yonhap monitors said.

Back in 2010, the North reportedly executed Pak Nam-ki, former chief of the planning and finance department of the ruling Workers' Party, over its botched currency reform the previous year, and then eliminated him from documentary films.


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