A purge in North Korea

Jang Song Taek, the uncle of the secretive 30-ish North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was dramatically removed last week from a special party session by armed guards. Calling him "despicable human scum," the state then summarily executed the man who had mentored his nephew during the transition after the death of his dictator father Kim Jong Il. In his two years in power so far, observes The Times, Kim Jong Un has invested "the country's scarce resources in water slides, roller coasters, ski slopes and a 'dolphinarium.' " We might dismiss it as eccentric, except that North Korea has that nuclear arsenal. MORE YEAR IN REVIEW: 10 groundbreaking women we lost in 2013 10 tips for a better life from The Times' Op-Ed pages in 2013 Kindness in the world of politics? 7 uplifting examples from 2013
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