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U.S. says North Korean execution of Jang Song-thaek could be precursor to provocation

Updated: 2013-12-20 PM 10:50:25 (KST)
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General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff says a North Korean provocation could be in the works following the recent execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song-thaek.

"These kind of internal actions by dictators are often a precursor to provocation to distract attention from what they are doing inside of that country. So yeah, if you ask me am I concerned, absolutely."

Speaking at the same Pentagon press conference Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said North Korea's sudden removal of the once-powerful Jang increases concerns about the North, and deepens the suspicions of the regime's motives.

"That nation is as closed as any nation in the world. There is no transparency. There is no inter-connect to the outside world in any way."

The execution of Jang is seen by experts as the biggest upheaval in North Korea since the regime conducted its third nuclear test in February.
With Jang out of the picture, suspicions are rising about the path the North will take in the coming weeks and months.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.

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