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Relatives of N. Korean leader‘s deposed uncle return home

Dec. 5, 2013 - 20:25 By Korea Herald

BEIJING (Yonhap News) -- Relatives of Jang Song-thaek, the powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un believed to have been removed from all of his posts, returned home Thursday from Malaysia via China, multiple witnesses said.

The wife and two 20-something sons of Jang Yong-chol, the North Korean ambassador to Malaysia and a nephew of the older Jang, were spotted before boarding an Air Koryo flight in China’s northeastern city of Shenyang, they said.

The North Korean ambassador to Malaysia is believed to have been recalled home in connection with the uncle‘s alleged purge, an intelligence source in Bejing said.

Jang Song-thaek, regarded as a guardian of Kim since his father died in late 2011, was apparently dismissed from all of his posts, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service told lawmakers earlier this week, citing unspecified but knowledgeable sources in the isolated country.

If confirmed, it is a development seen to have the potential to incite a power struggle in the North‘s hierarchy. The 67-year-old Jang has long been considered a main backer of the young leader believed to be around 30. (Yonhap News)