Well it didn't take long.
Jang Song-thaek, formerly the uncle by marriage of North Korea's Kim Jong-un, no longer walks the planet. He is, you might say, defunct.
It was a quick fall for a guy some experts claim was Kim's mentor and PR man during the transition of power after Kim Jong-il died. The same experts also note Jang was the main liason between the DPRK and their biggest and best buddy, The People's Republic of China.
At least one North Korean observer told NBC News, Jang's public denunciation and swift execution is a dramatic shift in the way senior personnel are purged by Pyongyang. Dr. Andrei Lankov was quoted as saying, "If you look at the history of North Korea after 1960 you will discover that if you were lucky enough to belong to the top 100, you were generally secure physically." A white house official added, "It tells you everything is not normal."
Most agree the road to Jang's demise began in November when he suddenly ceased appearing in public. Some have wondered if it was some sort of ideological rift with the army, while at least one has speculated it was purely "a family dispute."
Whatever the case the KCNA, North Korea's official news agency, is making sure everyone knows what a rotten guy Mr. Jang was.
An official statement from them claims, "...the service personnel and people throughout the country broke into angry shouts that a stern judgement of the revolution should be meted out to the anti-party, counter revolutionary, factional elements. Against the back drop of these shouts rocking the country, a special military tribunal of the DPRK Ministry of State Security was held on December 12 against the traitor for all ages, Jang Song-thaek."
All of which goes to prove there isn't much of an appeals process in North Korea. December 12th in the DPRK was on Wednesday. Jang was executed on Thursday. Everyone agrees his death won't be the last. The truth is, if, at any point in the past, you shook hands with the dude, you might want to start looking for a way across the Chinese border. Indeed--once an old fashioned Stalinist purge begins to roll down hill, it tends to take on a life all its own.
Jang's list of evil doings was lengthy. Among other things, the KCNA noted that during the unanimous appointment of Kim as the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Worker's Party of Korea, he, (sic) "behaved so arrogantly and insolently as unwilling to stand up from his seat and half heartedly clapping touching off towering resentment of our service personnel and people."
Of course the main charges had to do with the planning of a coup. Luckily the authorities got to him before he figured out who he would recruit to pull it off. He hadn't quite decided on a date either, but obviously it is the thought that counts. Beyond the coup itself there were the other usual suspects thrown in for good measure, bribery, gambling at a foreign casino with embezzled funds, and distributing, "all sorts of pornographic pictures to his confidants since 2009."
Jang was finally described as a "wicked political careerist, trickster," and that traitor for all ages thing again. After saying he'd been convicted and condemned to death the final grim line from the report summed up the entire affair with perfect terseness. "The decision was immediately executed."
One thing can be certain at this point, you'd better not mess with young Mr. Kim. As the KCNA said, "Our party, state, army, and people do not know anyone except Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un......the lineage of Paektu will remain unchanged and irreplaceable."
Given all this, Dennis Rodman might want to seriously re-think his planned excursion to Pyongyang. Especially after he cut that pistachio commercial with a Kim look alike. I mean let's face it, Dennis, humor and satire aren't your pal's strong points.
Hey, it is just a thought. Mull it over for a bit.