1 Jan 2014

Kim Jong Un: executing uncle ‘got rid of filth’

The North Korean dictator has harsh words for his executed uncle in a New Year message. But a conciliatory message for South Korea and the promise of more skiing resorts for his people.

The execution of North Korea‘s second most powerful man in December has left the country stronger, stated leader Kim Jong Un in a New Year’s TV address to the nation.

He rebutted claims that the sudden execution of Kim’s uncle and mentor Jang Song Thaek showed dangerous instability in North Korea. In contrast, Kim stated, the country was 100 times stronger.

“Our party took a firm measure to get rid of factional filth that permeated the party,” Kim told the nation, in his first public mention of Thaek since the purge.

Our party took a firm measure to get rid of factional filth that permeated the party Kim Jong Il

“Our unity strengthened hundredfold and party and revolutionary lines became more solid by purging the anti-party and anti-revolutionary faction,” Kim said.

‘Dark clouds of nuclear war’

In more conciliatory language he called for better relations with South Korea, warning that another war on the Korean peninsula would cause a massive nuclear disaster.

It’s a turnaround from last month when Kim threatened he could strike the south without any notice.

“It is time to end abuse and slander that is only good for doing harm … We will try hard to improve North-South ties,” Kim said, adding that “dark clouds of nuclear war constantly hovered over the Korean peninsula”.

And the nuclear disaster would strike America, said Kim.

“If there ever is once again war on this land, it will bring about an enormous nuclear disaster and the United States will not be spared from it,” he said. The two Koreas remain technically at war under a truce that ended the 1950-53

A commentator noted that the absence of personal attacks on Kim’s South Korean counterpart – the President of South Korea was a positive sign.

More ski resorts?

On a lighter note, Kim said he wanted to commit to more construction projects that increased his people’s happiness. Though his first ski resort for workers is not seen as successful outside North Korea, it has been widely touted in the North Korean state media. Kim described it yesterday as “impeccable.”

And on Tuesday, the media ran pictures of Kim riding a ski lift at the Masik ski resort, where the North expects up to 5,000 skiers a day when it opens this year.

The state has also been building pleasure parks and apartment blocks – a policy that will continue, promised Kim.

“This year, we should open up a new period of prosperity in construction. Construction is an important frontline to set grounds for the strong nation and people’s happiness,” he said.