Execution, North Korea-style
If a report in a Chinese newspaper closely connected to the North Korean regime is to be believed, Kim Jong-un had his uncle (and former mentor) executed by stripping him naked and putting him in a cage with a hundred and twenty dogs that had been starved for three days. Felicity Morse of the UK Independent reports:
Kim Jong-un's uncle was killed after being stripped naked and fed to a pack of hungry dogs, according to reports in a Chinese state-backed newspaper.
North Korea have already described Jang Song Thaek as "despicable human scum, worse than a dog," but these reports, appearing in Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po newspaper, suggest he may have met his end in the jaws of dogs.
The account describes how Jang Song Thaek and five of his aides were stripped naked and fed to 120 hungry hounds, who had been starved for three days. The whole process lasted an hour, and as they were eaten hundreds of officials watched.
Honestly, this reads like fiction, something Borat would say in his next movie. And North Korea is known for exaggeration. But it cannot be ruled out. Either way, it reveals that the third generation heir to the world's first hereditary communist dynasty is a monster. A monster with nuclear weapons at his beck and call.
It is also worthwhile considering that this could be a way for the Chinese to pressure North Korea, which has become a troublesome neighbor:
The Singaporean Straits Times claims that the brutal account listed alongside a number of other criticisms in the report shows how Beijing is displeased with the changing regime, but currently there is no consistent editorial line in Chinese state media. The method of execution by dogs has also not been confirmed by North Korea.
Previously it had been reported that a number of Jang Song Thaek's aides were executed with anti-aircraft machine guns.
China faces two unpalatable alternatives with North Korea:
1. Do nothing, and let the follies continue, discrediting communism, and providing a constant irritant, including refugees who join the ethcnic Korean minority in the border region, a potential source of internal instability. China clearly cares nothing about the continued suffering of the North korean people.
2. Pressure the regime to reform, which easily could lead to its collapse, dumping millions of refugees on the Chinese. See alternative one on the internal challenges this offers and add billions of dollars a year in costs to support the refugees. In addition, a reunified post-North collapse Korea would see an American ally hosting tens of thousands of American troops right on China's borders.
On balance, China obviously prefers alternative 1.