WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it can't independently confirm reports of the execution of the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) but it says it has "no reason to doubt" a report by the North Korean state news agency that it took place.
Patrick Ventrell, a National Security Council spokesman, said, quoting: "If confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime."
The state news agency KCNA announced earlier Thursday that Jang Song Thaek, long considered the country's No. 2 power, was executed for crimes including, quote: "attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods."
Ventrell said the U.S. was following developments in North Korea closely and consulting with allies and partners in the region.