Ahn Hong-joon, the director of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification of South Korea's National Assembly has said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of his uncle-in-law Jang Sung-taek under pressure from General Choe Ryong-hae, the head of Korean People's Army's General Political Department, and the Choe is now the real leader in the country, reports the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po.
At a seminar at the National Assembly on Dec. 20, Ahn said a source which has previously provided accurate information on political developments in the North had told him that the decision to execute Jang was not ordered by Kim but by General Choe in what Ahn called a successful coup by the military faction.
Following the death of Kim Jong-il in late 2011, Jang as vice chairman of the National Defense Commission had reportedly purged the military faction under the leadership of General Ri Yong-ho, chief of the general staff, in June last year. About 20 close associates of General Ri were killed when the latter was arrested on Jang's orders. While rumors emanating from North Korea say Ri was executed along with his followers, the actual fate of the general remains unknown.
Ahn's source claims Choe struck back against the Jang Sung-taek faction earlier this December, resulting first in Jang's removal and denouncement and then his prompt execution following a military tribunal, restoring the upper hand to the military faction. Though the military have pledged their loyalty to Kim as the supreme leader, it is now General Choe who is the real power behind the throne, the source said. Kim did not intend to have his relative executed but his hand was forced by Choe, the source said.
More than 100 of Jang's relatives and subordinates have reportedly been purged, Anh said. Most of them are likely to be either executed or sent to concentration camps.
Experts cast doubt on the report, saying Choe has no real power to mobilize the military against Jang as the director of KPA's General Political Department.http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1101&MainCatID=11&id=20131223000017