Recalled North Korean ambassador to Malaysia executed as part of purge

SEOUL: All relatives of the executed uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have been executed at his instruction, including the former ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that all relatives of Jang Song-thaek, including children - as well as former ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, have been executed.

Yong-chol, who is Song-thaek's nephew, along with his two sons, have been put to death as part of a purge.

It was reported that sources informed other executed relatives include Yong-chol's sister Kye-sun and her husband and ambassador to Cuba, Jon Yong-jin.

It was said sons, daughters and even grandchildren of Song-thaek's two brothers were also executed.

The executed ambassadors were allegedly recalled to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital in early December and executed.

It was unclear exactly when they were killed, but it is believed it was soon after death after Song-thaek's execution on Dec 12.

Another source said some were shot to death by pistol publicly outside their homes when they resisted.

However, some relatives by marriage, including the former Malaysian ambassador's wife, were spared and sent to remote villages along with their maiden families, according to sources.

Sources said the executions of wiped out all traces of Song-thaek, adding that the purge was on an extensive scale from relatives and low-level officials.

Kim had referred to Song-thaek as "worse than a dog" and "human scum" when announcing his execution, which he said was for treachery and betrayal.

Song-thaek, once a high-ranking official, was executed last month on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime, as well as contemplating a military-backed coup.

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