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Korea says N.K. continues purges on small scale

South Korea’s point man on North Korea said Monday that the communist country appeared to be continuing purges of officials after the high-profile execution of leader Kim Jong-un’s once-powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek.

Seoul’s Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said in a parliamentary session small-scale purges appear to be under way in North Korea, noting that people close to Jang were recalled to Pyongyang.

South Korea detected “circumstances of purges,” Ryoo told lawmakers, without elaborating.

Jang, who had long been considered the North’s No. 2 man and Kim’s regent, was executed earlier this month on charges of treason.

On Friday, North Korea’s ambassador to Sweden, Pak Kwang-chol, was called back to Pyongyang, in the latest recall of North Korean diplomats following Jang’s execution.

Pak, one of Jang’s close aides, returned to North Korea via an Air Koryo flight after making a brief stopover in Beijing, according to a diplomatic source.

Earlier this month, North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-chol, a nephew of Jang, was recalled to the North. (Yonhap News)
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