Last month, North Korea's Kim Jong Un announced that his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, the second most powerful person in the super-secret communist country, had been executed for attempting to overthrow the government. Little else was known about the execution, until now.
It was assumed that a firing squad was used to carry out the execution of Jang and his five closest associates. However, NBC News is reporting that the North Korean dictator may have fed his uncle to a pack of hundreds of dogs starved for five days.
AP/KRT via AP video
According to an unconfirmed report from Wen Wei Po, a Hong Kong-based Chinese news agency, Kim's uncle, Jang Song Thaek and five of his aides were stripped naked and then tossed into a cage where the hungry dogs waited. The gruesome event was reportedly witnessed by the North Korean dictator, his brother and as many as 300 people.
As mentioned in NBC's coverage, the report has not been confirmed by the North Korean government. And now that the story is gaining traction online, other media outlets are questioning its veracity.
The Telegraph's Tim Stanley wondered why 120 dogs were used, when "half a dozen would do." As Stanley put it, "It's all a bit James Bond, a bit shark-tank-in-an-underground-bunker."
Adding to the speculation about the story, the only places the dog-eating story initially appeared were government-controlled Chinese news outlets. And this is happening at a time when relations between China and North Korea have deteriorated to the point where China allegedly has been seeking help from Russia in order to keep their nuclear neighbor under control.
On Christmas Eve, The Strait Times covered the story about the pack of dogs being used in the execution, but also focused more on the tensions between China and North Korea.
Shortly after the execution was announced, NBC also noted that North Korea began removing all images of the country's former No. 2 official. Watch the network's coverage of the execution announcement and the subsequent removal of Jang Song Thaek's image from official state video.
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