The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after having his uncle Jang Song Thaek executed, exhibited his head as an “example” for other “traitors.” American president Donald Trump told insiders, writes The Washington Post.
Trump is said to have made his statement recently at a meeting at the White House, a source said at The Washington Post. The US president is said to have expressed his frustration about the North Korean leader and the failed negotiations with the country. “It is not immediately as if you are speaking with the President of France,” Trump would have put it concisely.
Jang Song-thaek was executed in December 2013 after falling out of favor with his cousin. The official North Korean state agency reported at the time about the execution but did not release any further details. Until now, everyone assumed that Jang was killed by a firing squad. A North Korean exile even stated that Jang had been killed with anti-aircraft guns.
The uncle of the North Korean dictator was officially accused of treason and forging plans to overthrow the regime. Earlier, he was relieved of all his functions after allegations of corruption, gambling, drug use and “a loose and corrupt life”.
Jang, who was married to Kim Jong-il’s sister, Kim Jong-uns father, was one of the highest North Korean politicians. He was even seen as Kim’s mentor and was vice-president of the National Defense Commission, a post considered to be the second highest in the country.
The relationship between the United States and North Korea is again under pressure these days as the latter has started rocket testing again. They were launched last and this week, just as the American envoy for North Korea arrived in Seoul, the capital of neighboring South Korea, for consultation.
Kim personally supervised the launch of the rockets and at least one short-range rocket. He “emphasized the need to increase the power of the army on the western front so that it is ready for attack tasks and can handle any emergency situation,” it said on North Korean state television.
It was the first major arms test of the Asian country since November 2017. Conversely, the US yesterday seized a North Korean cargo ship for allegedly breaching international sanctions.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in suspects that the North Koreans want to send a signal. “North Korea seems dissatisfied that it couldn’t close a deal in Hanoi,” Moon said in a conversation with broadcaster KBS.
In February the second conversation between Trump and Kim failed. The two met again at an international summit in the capital of Vietnam after the summit in Singapore last year. However, both leaders soon broke off the negotiations when it turned out that North Korea did not want to bind its nuclear program and Trump, in turn, did not want to admit international sanctions. Since then, negotiations have been in a slop.
“Not ready for negotiations”
Officially, Trump does not consider the negotiations to have failed. “Nobody is happy with this,” he said yesterday about the new rocket tests. “They are talking about negotiations, but I do not think they are ready for it.” In an interview with the news website Politico, he said he is not out to be impressed by the new Lancer. He also does not think that the Pyongyang regime has thus already violated his confidence.
“They have a short reach and I do not regard that as a violation of trust at all. And, you know, at a certain point I can. But not at the moment.” So it seems that Trump still hopes he can make a deal with Kim about the nuclear program of the isolated country. The President sees the negotiations as one of the spearheads of his foreign policy.