Night Watch

North Korea: A South Korean news service reported over the weekend that their sources said that all relatives of Chang Sung-taek, the executed uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, have also been executed.

"Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song-thaek," one source said. "All relatives of Jang have been put to death, even children."

The executed relatives include Jang's sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband and Ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong-jin, and Ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, who is a nephew of Jang, as well as his two sons, the sources said.

All of them were recalled to Pyongyang in early December and executed. The sons, daughters and even grandchildren of Jang's two brothers were all executed, they said. "Some relatives were shot to death by pistol in front of other people if they resisted while being dragged out of their apartment homes," another source said.

Some relatives by marriage, including the wife of the Ambassador to Malaysia, reportedly were spared execution and sent to remote villages along with their maiden families, according to the sources.

"The executions of Jang's relatives mean that no traces of him should be left," a source said. "The purge of the Jang Song-thaek people is under way on an extensive scale from relatives and low-level officials."

Comment: While there is no separate confirmation of these accounts, extermination of the entire family line of an enemy is practiced by oriental despots. (See Wittfogel,Oriental Despotism) The executions apparently began after 12 December, the date Chang was executed. The number of those executed is not known.

These reports contrast with the unctuous reconciliation policy the North has implemented. One effect of the reconciliation policy is to divert international attention from the continuing purge in the North.

China: On 26 January, three Chinese ships patrolled the James Shoal in the South China Sea, an area also claimed by Malaysia. The Chinese task group comprised the amphibious landing craft, Changbaishan, and two destroyers, state news agency Xinhua reported.

."During the ceremony held in the Zengmu Reef area, soldiers and officers aboard swore an oath of determination to safeguard the country's sovereignty and maritime interests,"Xinhua said. Zengmu Reef is the Chinese name for James Shoal.


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