Two of North Korea’s main media outlets, Rodong Sinmun and Uriminzokkiri, appear to have removed almost all articles mentioning Jang Song Taek from their respective websites.
Relevant pieces published prior to November 10th have been deleted by Rodong Sinmun, including those detailing Jang’s overseas activities.
It is usual practice in the North to delete images and references to a purged high-profile public figure. The speed of the removal in this instance indicates the seriousness of the charges leveled against Jang, which include high treason and state subversion.
Scenes featuring Jang in a documentary film appearing on Chosun Central Television were erased earlier this week.
A high-ranking defector explained to Daily NK, “In North Korea, the prior activities of an elite cadre who has since been branded ‘anti-party’ and ‘anti-revolution’ are normally left alone. The only content deleted would be any reference to the individual on Chosun Central Television or documentaries. But this time is different. In future, North Korea will use propaganda tools to criticize and belittle Jang, like producing pieces that praise Kim Jong Eun’s swift decision to order his execution.”
Other former high-ranking cadres erased from the official media record include Pak Nam Gi, former Director of the Planning and Finance Department thought to be partly responsible for the disastrous 2009 currency reform, and former KPA Chief of General Staff Ri Yong Ho, who had his image edited out of Chosun Central Television documentaries following his dismissal in July 2012.