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Jang Song-thaek purged for overstepping business rights: NIS

Updated: 2013-12-24 AM 10:13:01 (KST)
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The fall of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-thaek may not have been due to a power struggle like many had speculated.
Chief of Seoul's National Intelligence Service, Nam Jae-joon, while briefing the National Assembly's intelligence committee said Jang apparently overstepped his bounds by getting involved in big business projects, and that this was the main reason he was executed.
The NIS chief explained Jang interfered in Pyongyang's most lucrative projects, mostly coal-related ones, sparking conflicts with the state's other financial agencies.
Kim Jong-un ordered him to settle the disputes, but when Jang defied that order, he was executed for going against Kim's supreme leadership.
As for Jang's wife and Kim Jong-un's aunt Kim Kyong-hui, the intelligence chief said unlike many had thought, she has no health problems, but is rather staying out of the public eye for the moment.
Nam also warned of a possible provocation by the North early next year, some time between January and March.
Pointing out that North Korea's artillery units are being reinforced and more military exercises are being held, Nam said Pyongyang could forge ahead with provocations targeting the South in order to shift people's attention away from the instability domestically.
Nam added the reclusive state is ready to conduct a fourth nuclear test at any time.
Meanwhile the NIS chief denied all reports that some of Jang's close aides are seeking asylum in China, saying there was no truth to any of them.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.

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