A couple walks past a television showing a report on Chang Song-thaek, North Korean leaders' uncle, at a railway station in Seoul (Reuters)
A couple walks past a television showing a report on Chang Song-thaek, North Korean leaders' uncle, at a railway station in Seoul (Reuters)Reuters

In a sensational revelation, North Korea confirmed the Kim Jong Un's government has dismissed the young leader's uncle Chang Song-thaek for a series of criminal acts, such as financial squandering, womanising and doing drugs.

The sacking of Chang marks a spectacular downfall of the second most powerful man in the reclusive nation after young Kim. North Korea's state-owned KCNA news agency confirmed the dismissal of Chang, who is married to the sister of late leader Kim Jong-il.

The announcement came with a list of excoriation against the once-powerful man, describing him as a man who perpetrated many crimes, such as mismanagement of the economy, corruption, and "depraved" acts like womanising and drug-taking.

Chang, who was hitherto revered as an economic reformer, had regularly handled high-profile talks with China, Pyongyang's only major ally.

The confirmation comes after the news of dismissal was leaked in South Korea last week, along with suggestions that two of his close aides had been executed for similar acts of corruption.

The KCNA news agency said that the decision was made in a meeting of the ruling communist Korean Workers' Party Politburo. Some images released from the country show Chang being pulled out by uniformed guards from the Politburo meeting.

Accusing him of being a hypocrite and being part of a group working against the North Korean state, KCNA said that Chang was morally "sick".

"Chang pretended to uphold the party and leader but was engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams and involving himself in double-dealing behind the scenes," the KCNA report said.

"Ideologically sick and extremely idle and easy-going, he used drugs and squandered foreign currency at casinos while he was receiving medical treatment in a foreign country under the care of the party".

The KCNA agency, which is known to carry the state's propaganda news, added that he had "improper relations" with many women and "was wined and dined at back parlours of deluxe restaurants".

Political analysts have suggested that this is the most important turn of events and the biggest political upheaval in North Korea's leadership, after the young Kim succeeded his father in 2011.

Within a matters of days, Chang has been reduced from the position of a "supreme leader's uncle" and a powerful mentor to the 30-year-old leader, to a morally depraved, "sick" and a criminal outcast in the controversial nation.

Kim's aunt, daughter of the North's founding leader Kim Il Sung and wife of the dethroned leader, however, is not in trouble, Reuters has reported.