Dec. 9 (UPI)-- The North Korean government released a statement today confirming the removal of Jang Song Thaek, an uncle of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, for improper behavior.
The 1,400 word statement alleged Jang had used drugs, disobeyed orders, and tried secretly to amass power.
At a meeting Sunday, officials decided to expel Jang from the Workers' Party and relieve him of all his posts. The statement noted, "Jang and his followers did not sincerely accept the line and policies of the party." Although it is not clear who among his followers were purged, South Korean media reported that the ambassadors to Malaysia and Cuba, relatives of Jang's, had been recalled and removed from their ambassadorships.
Rumors of the dismissal emerged last week as South Korean media reported that a National Intelligence Service assessment about the likely purge had been shared with South Korean lawmakers. Jang had been considered No. 2 in the Pyongyang government and was a mentor to his nephew. His dismissal followed the execution of his two deputies for "corruption and anti-party activities."