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North Korea may purge more than 10,000 of Jang Song-thaek's aides: experts

Updated: 2013-12-10 (KST)
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"The Jang Song-thaek group committed such anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts as gnawing at the unity and cohesion of the party and disturbing the work for establishing the party unitary leadership system and perpetrated such anti-state, unpopular crimes."

The most notable parts in North Korea's report of Jang Song-thaek's removal are the expressions "the Jang Song-thaek group" and "anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts."
They hint at more purging to come.
Possible candidates topping the list to follow in Jang's footsteps are Ji Jae-ryong, North Korean ambassador to China, Choe Pu-il, Minister of People's Security, Roh Du-chol, Vice Prime Minister and Ri Jong-mu, Minister of Physical Culture and Sports.
Considering that around 3-thousand people who were close to former secretary of the Workers' Party Hwang Jang-yop were executed or imprisoned when he defected to the South, experts say more than 10-thousand people may be at risk this time around.

"There are departments that have been with Jang for his lifetime. Various departments within the party like the international department as well as institutions in charge of collecting foreign currency within the cabinet will be the second target."

Also gone is the possibility of Jang's comeback among North Korea's ruling elite.
Experts expect the young North Korean leader will speed up the process for solidifying his power as the one and only ruler of the regime.

"By expelling Jang from all his posts, it looks like North Korea will no longer allow a second-in-command and strengthen the power of Kim Jong-un's own inner circle."

However, experts also note a possible uprising by Jang's forces who may feel threatened by their uncertain fate.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.

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