Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...

Primary Teaching Supply

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Page 3 Profile: Chang Song-Thaek, uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Ung

Is all well inside North Korea?

Not exactly. For deep from within the closeted regime comes details of why Chang Song-thaek, the former right-hand man and relative of Kim Jong-un, has been booted out of the government. There were rumours that the once powerful uncle and mentor of the country’s dictator had passed his sell-by date. And yet the recent claims emerging from the country are far more eye-opening.

Oh really, how so?

According to the Korean Central News Agency - which, let’s remember is a heavily-censored state broadcaster -  Mr Chang had committed “criminal acts”. These included challenging the leadership of his nephew and forming a rival faction within the Workers’ Party. Allegedly the embodiment of a “dissolute and depraved life”, the former vice chairman of the National Defence Commission is said to have dabbled in “corruption, drug use, gambling and womanizing”.

This all sounds familiar...

Well, Mr Chang’s forced removal is just the latest – albeit the most significant – in a series of high-profile purges. Many believe this is Kim Jong-un’s bid to boost his power after his father’s death in 2011. Dr Paik Haksoon, of Seoul’s Sejong Institute, told the BBC that: “Chang Song-thaek had finished his role as a bridge between the past and the future.”

But history will judge him accordingly?

Well, that’s unlikely. No one really knows exactly how the mad regime works, but Mr Chang has already been edited out of official documentary footage, effectively airbrushing him from history. Yesterday, North Korea’s state-run television showed footage of Mr Chang being led out of a meeting by olive-suited state security members, as hundreds of party members watched.

Will he be back?

One can only hope. Mr Chang was ousted from the government by his brother-in-law, Kim Jong-il, in what was seen as an attempt to keep a grip on North Korea’s hereditary dynasty. He disappeared for two years before being reinstated in 2006.  However, the sheer detail of the official announcement describing Mr Chang’s second fall from grace suggests a rather more monumental government shake-up this time around.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories