A senior North Korean diplomat has told a British broadcaster that top leader Kim Jong Un's uncle Jang Song Thaek, who was executed last month after being denounced as a traitor, was shot dead.
In an interview with Sky News that was broadcast Thursday, Ambassador to Britain Hyun Hak Bong scoffed when asked about sensational media reports that Jang was stripped naked and fed to a pack of hungry dogs,
"No, no...he was shot to death," he said.
He said Jang, who had been widely seen as the second most powerful figure North Korea after his nephew, was sentenced to death by a criminal court because he "did lots of crimes," including "anti-party, anti-government crimes."
"He abused his power in hindering the national economy and hindering the efforts of the national economy and for improving people's living standards," Hyun said. "He spent 4.6 million euro in 2009 alone. He made tremendous crimes against the government, against the people, against the country."
Commenting on media reports that Jang's wider family, including his children and grandchildren, have been rounded up along with his political supporters and executed, the ambassador said, "This is the political propaganda by our enemies."
"I think that fabricated report does not deserve my comment."
Asked whether this means they are alive, he said, "I know he was punished, but (if) his family were punished or not, I don't know."