North Korea's state media announced on Friday the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who it said was a traitor to the Supreme Leader's regime.
"Despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him," a report by regime mouthpiece the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
His execution was made public just days after Pyongyang announced through state media that North Korea's second-in-command had been removed from all posts due to allegations of treachery, corruption, drug use, gambling, womanizing and leading a "dissolute and depraved life."
Jang was tried by a special military tribunal and found guilty on all counts, KCNA said. He supposedly confessed to everything he was accused of, including plotting a coup against Kim Jong Un.
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Observers say it's the biggest shake-up in North Korea's leadership since Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, died two years ago.
Jang was described in state media as an "enemy of the party, revolution and people and heinous traitor to the nation."
KCNA's report quotes him at length admitting how he plotted to sow discontent among the military in the hope of leading them to overthrow his nephew, whom he helped put in power in the first place.
Jang was married to the late Kim Jong Il's sister, and served as a mentor to his son. Kim Jong Un received Jang's help to assume and consolidate power after his father's death.
When news of Jang's removal from power emerged, South Korean President Park Geun Hye accused the North of "carrying out a reign of terror" to reinforce Kim's authority.
She said the relationship between the two Koreas was likely to become "more unstable" as a result of the latest developments.