Nothing personal, just business.
Korea Execution Is Tied to Clash Over Businesses
By CHOE SANG-HUN and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: December 23, 2013
SEOUL, South Korea — The execution of the uncle of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, had its roots in a firefight between forces loyal to Mr. Kim and those supporting the man who was supposed to be his regent, according to accounts that are being pieced together by South Korean and American officials. The clash was over who would profit from North Korea’s most lucrative exports: coal, clams and crabs.
Yonhap, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Jang Song-thaek during a North Korean court appearance on Dec. 12. He was executed that day.
North Korean military forces were deployed to retake control of one of the sources of those exports, the rich crab and clam fishing grounds that Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of the country’s untested, 30-year-old leader, had seized from the military. In the battle for control of the fishing grounds, the emaciated, poorly trained North Korean forces “were beaten — very badly — by Uncle Jang’s loyalists,” according to one official.