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No major impact seen on N. Korea-China ties despite execution of Kim's uncle: expert

No major impact seen on N. Korea-China ties despite execution of Kim's uncle: expert

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Published : 2013-12-13 12:47
Updated : 2013-12-13 12:47

The stunning execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's once-powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek, is unlikely to have a major impact on bilateral relations with China, a Chinese expert said Friday, describing the execution as Pyongyang's "internal affair."

North Korea announced earlier in the day that Jang, who had been considered the second most powerful man in the reclusive state, has been executed after a special military tribunal found him guilty of treason.

"In my personal opinion, it is unlikely to cause a major impact on the China-North Korea relations because it is an internal affair in North Korea," said Wang Junsheng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Citing the charge of treason against Jang, Wang said the 67-year-old uncle, who was married to the sister of Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, might have been the biggest challenge for the young leader Kim, who is believed to be around 30.

"In terms of his power and bloodline, Jang Song-thaek might have been the biggest challenge for Kim Jong-un," Wang said.

The execution of Jang came days after North Korea stripped him of all official posts, accusing him of building a "counter-revolutionary faction" and other "criminal acts," including corruption, drug use and womanizing.

Some analysts view Jang's dramatic downfall as a sign that Kim is further consolidating his grip on power, but others say that it could incite a power struggle in the North's hierarchy. (Yonhap News)



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