Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

Many of the articles about Jang Sung-taek's execution lead with the information that Jang was supreme leader Kim Jong-un's uncle. This is true but North Korea has a hereditary form of government so this isn't that noteworthy. Jang married into the Kim family by marrying Kim Jong-il's younger sister.

I think it's slightly more illustrative to say that Kim Jong-un had his would-be regent executed. Jang was promoted by Kim Jong-il (Kim Jong-un's father, and predecessor as supreme leader) during the last years he ruled North Korea, and he seems to have had some executive role during Kim Jong-il's illness.

Seen that way, Jang's purge and execution is still a brutal way to eliminate a potential threat but very much in line with centuries of practice in hereditary monarchies all over the world, including those in Europe.
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