- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lawmakers in South Korea say recent intelligence shows that not only were two colleagues of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s uncle recently executed, but around the same time, the powerful family figure — considered a key influence on the freshman dictator — disappeared from public view.

The uncle, Jang Song-thack, hasn’t been seen since his two associates were killed last month over unspecified crimes, The Associated Press reported. And two South Korean lawmakers say they’ve received information that shows he’s been fired from his position.

The official spy agency for Seoul, the National Intelligence Service, declined to confirm the intelligence report.

If true, though, the dismissal is a significant power structure change in the North. Mr. Jang, married to the sister of the late leader Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un’s father, has been widely viewed as one of the most influential, behind-the-scenes figures in the young dictator’s transition to power and his first-year political policies.

Mr. Jang was last seen on Nov. 6, AP reported.