SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – North Korea’s leader seems to be obsessed with erasing all remaining vestiges of his uncle Jang Song-thaek, who he executed in 2013 for treason, a source familiar with the North’s affairs said Tuesday.
The North’s leader Kim Jong-un has reacted sensitively to anything related to Jang, ordering overseas restaurants’ names to be changed and the dismantling of a folklore theme park in Pyongyang, according to the source.
Kim has ordered his officials to change facilities named “Haedanghwa,” which means sweetbrier, into “Ryugyong” as Jang spearheaded a campaign to establish Pyongyang-run overseas restaurants named Haedanghwa, the source added.
North Korea used the Haedanghwa restaurants as its main venues to earn hard currency, which is known to have been used by the North’s leadership.
In 2013, Kim ordered the execution of his once-powerful uncle Jang, accusing him of treason, a move aimed at reaffirming his power that he inherited in late 2011 after the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il.
He has been strengthening his reign of terror by purging and executing party and military officials.
There was speculation that Jang was discovered to have created secret funds through overseas restaurants, angering the North’s leader, according to the source.
In April, North Korea’s young leader ordered the shutdown of the Pyongyang Folklore Park, which opened in April 2012. The construction of the model park was overseen by Jang, the source added.
Located in the foothills of Mount Taesong in the North’s capital, the 2-million-square-meter theme park is known to have been set up and spearheaded by Jang, under the instruction of the incumbent leader’s late father.
Another source said that Kim ordered officials in May to delete photos and records related to the folklore park from publications, saying that it is a political matter of erasing the vestiges of reactionary elements.