Jang Seong Taek Execution Dominates South Korean News

Jang Seong Taek’s execution has occupied the front page in South Korea ever since the story broke of his sudden trial and purge from the ‘second-in-command’ role in North Korea. Blue House representatives have said that President Park Geun-hye is watching the security situation very carefully. Notably, Moon Jae-in, a leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, reacted to the execution by publicly stating on on December 14th, “North Korea cannot be called a civilized country”.

The latest editorial from the Rodong Sinmun on December 14th supported the execution, stating that “even if someone shares the flesh and blood of the Great Leader, they will be punished without hesitation“.

Articles about the execution and the public announcement on North Korean state media dominated online forums and the search engine rankings, as “Jang Seong Taek” was consistently the most searched term on Naver all week.

Article from Yonhap:

December 13th photo of the tribunal that sentenced Jang Seong Taek to death, photo from KCNA

December 13th photo of the tribunal that sentenced Jang Seong Taek to death, photo from KCNA

Reporter Jang Yonghun = Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on December 13th that Jang Song Taek was sentenced to death and immediately executed at a special military tribunal held on the 12th.

KCNA revealed that “a special military tribunal of the DPRK Ministry of State Security was held on December 12 against traitor for all ages Jang Song Taek” and “was immediately executed after being condemned to die under section 60 of the Republic’s penal code”.

Under section 60 of the penal code, an individual can face death for plotting to overthrow the state.

Four days after being branded an ‘anti-party counterrevolutionary actor’ and dragged from an expanded meeting of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) Politburo on the 8th, Jang Song Taek’s life was ended on the execution ground.

Jang Seong Taek had played the role of ‘second in command’ for forty years, beginning in the 1970s, a time when late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was not yet in power. Tt seems likely that North Korea will see more extensive purges in the future.

According to KCNA, “The tribunal examined Jang’s crimes. All the crimes committed by the accused were proved in the course of the hearing and were admitted by him.” In addition, “The special military tribunal of the Ministry of State Security of the DPRK confirmed that the state subversion attempt by the accused Jang, which was aimed at overthrowing the people’s power of the DPRK by ideologically aligning himself with enemies, is a crime punishable by Article 60 of the DPRK Criminal Code.”

KCNA further reported , “(Jang Seong Taek) began revealing his true colors around the time of the historic change in leadership” and “Thinking that the succession problem was just the time for him to realize his wild ambition, he privately and openly committed regrettable acts of treason”

“Jang Seong Taek was consumed by political ambition and lost control, calculating that if he recruited an army, he could overthrow the government, and tenaciously maneuvered, intending to exert his evil influence on even The People’s Army.”

The report pointed out that Jang Seong Taek created an illusion and sought idolization, “leading to an important break with the Party’s monolithic leadership, and gathering the brown nosers and close associates who had been expelled” together in the central committee division and affiliated organizations, he “reigned with sacrosanct respect”, making his own division into a little kingdom.

Also, he intended to steal the supreme power of the party and nation, and “completely seized the country’s important economic sector, and by neutralizing the cabinet, schemed to drive the economy and people’s lives to the point where they couldn’t overcome the crisis.”

The report went on to say that, while Jang Song Taek deliberately disturbed the construction in Pyongyang, he abused his power by transferring major construction units to his confidants to that they might make money. He instructed his followers to sell coal and other underground resources, and even sold off the land of the Rason economic and trade zone to a foreign country for a period of five decades without any hesitation.

Jang Seong Taek has been identified as the man who was pulling the strings behind Pak Namgi’s execution in 2010, when Pak took responsibility for the failed currency reform.

Aside from this, the correspondence revealed that Jang “encouraged money-making under various pretexts to secure funds necessary for gratifying his political greed and was engrossed in irregularities and corruption,” “took the lead in spreading indolent, careless and undisciplined virus in our society,” “took a fabulous amount of funds from a bank and purchased precious metals,” and “let the decadent capitalist lifestyle find its way to our society.”

Comments from Naver:

[Note: these are the top comments from the more than 4,800 posted on the accompanying article]


It is always darkest just before the sun rises…. I hope a popular revolution occurs in North Korea.


They have no standards whatsoever, tsk.


I envy North Korea very much in this respect…. They execute people harmful to the nation, *makes you shiver*. I hope our country begins implementing the death penalty soon…..


That’s really scary. This is the true dictatorship. Those civil groups who claim the previous Lee Myung-bak and the current administration in our country are a dictatorship, why don’t you say something about this???


Jongpuk bastards, do you want something like this in our country? Lee Jeong-hee and Lee Seok-ki, go to North Korea.


North Korea is the land of Satan… That is nothing other than Hell…


No matter how loyal he was to the North Korean regime, this is how a henchman’s life ends, ke ke ke.

Footage broadcast on North Korean television on December 9th showed Taek's arrest during a meeting of the Korean Worker's Party Politburo meeting the previous day.

Footage broadcast on North Korean television on December 9th showed Taek’s arrest during a meeting of the Korean Worker’s Party Politburo meeting the previous day.


Do you Jongpuk trash leeching off South Korea see this? Jang Seong Taek’s end will be your end. Get ready.


Seok-ki, do you see it? That is your future.


Why did they even do a trial, ke. It was already determined to be the death penalty.


I hope we can send Jongpuk over to the North so North Korea can deal with them.


Jongpuk will be abandoned when they are not useful any more~~~ If Kim Jong-un takes over South Korea, they will be executed first~~~


Politicians and anti-government groups, please wake up after seeing this. Stop bullshitting that our democracy has regressed or disappeared. Stop complaining about the internet comment scandal. Democracy is well and alive in our country. We are indulged by our democracy. Stop putting the NIS on the chopping block and leave them alone so they can do their job. Stop bringing up the name of democracy for nothing. Politicians should stop baiting public opinion and start focusing on improving citizens’ lives.


Lefty commies, do you still think you can talk to North Korea with common sense, is that Priest Park Chang-shin who said South Korea deserved the bombardment of Yeongpyeong even a human?


Lee Seok-ki may change sides after reading this, hah. *makes you shiver*


Thus begins the reign of terror and dictatorship.. If South Korea was like North Korea, Moon Jae-in, Lee Seok-ki, Lee Jeong-hee, Kim Je-yeon, the Bus of Despair [‘the Bus of Hope’ originally], political priests, political monks…they would all be dead. They should be grateful that they can even breathe in this land.


Kim Jong-un, are you even human? You just end someone’s life on a whim.


I hope the two Koreas reunify soon.


The tough man is finally gone. It would be hard to prove that he actually committed any of those listed crimes. Of course, I don’t pity him at all.


Really scary…Just several weeks ago, he might have been the No. 2 figure in the country. Then he was killed for being a traitor. North Korea or not, it’s scary…

jay.h, Courtney Macer, Minjun Chen, Huw, Commander Kim, and Harald Olsen contributed to this article.

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