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N.Korea's Jang had lost influence before purge: US

A South Korean man watches TV news about Jang Song-Thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's uncle, at a railway station in Seoul on December 3, 2013The uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had been losing influence before he was executed in a shock purge last year, according to a Pentagon report released Wednesday. The execution of Jang Song-Thaek as a “traitor” in December by the Pyongyang regime came as a surprise to outside governments but the report said his downfall “is unlikely to lead to major changes in defense policy or internal stability in the near term.” Although Jang was a four-star general he had little control over military matters and his main focus had been on attracting investment and foreign currency into the country, said the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on North Korea. Jang “was believed to be a relatively pragmatic advisor to Kim Jong-Un, but his influence probably waned in 2013,” the report said.

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