SEOUL, South Korea — In late 2013, Jang Song Thaek, an uncle of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, was taken to the Gang Gun Military Academy in a Pyongyang suburb.
韩国首尔——2013年底，朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong Un)的姑父张成泽(Jang Song-thaek)被带去位于平壤郊区的强军军事学院(Gang Gun Military Academy)。
Hundreds of officials were gathered there to witness the execution of Jang's two trusted deputies in the administrative department of the ruling Workers' Party.
The two men, Ri Ryong Ha and Jang Su Gil, were torn apart by antiaircraft machine guns, according to South Korea's National Intelligence Service. The executioners then incinerated their bodies with flamethrowers.
据韩国国家情报院(National Intelligence Service)称，高射机枪将李龙河(Ri Ryong Ha)和张秀吉(Jang Su-gil)二人打成粉碎。之后，行刑人员用火焰喷射器将两人的尸体烧成了灰烬。
Jang Song Thaek, widely considered the second-most powerful figure in the North, fainted during the ordeal, according to a new book published in South Korea that offers a rare glimpse into the secretive Pyongyang regime.
“Son-in-Law of a Theocracy,” by Ra Jong-yil, a former deputy director of the South's National Intelligence Service, is a rich biography of Jang, the most prominent victim of the purges his young nephew has conducted since assuming power in 2011.
这本书叫《神权国家的女婿》(Son-in-Law of a Theocracy)，作者罗钟一(Ra Jong-yil)是韩国国家情报院前副院长。该书是张成泽的一部传记，内容丰富。在他年轻的侄子2011年掌权以来开展的清洗中，张成泽是最有名的受害者。
Jang was convicted of treason in 2013. He was executed at the same place and in the same way as his deputies, the South Korean intelligence agency said.
The book asserts that although he was a fixture of the North Korean political elite for decades, he dreamed of reforming his country.
“With his execution, North Korea lost virtually the only person there who could have helped the country introduce reform and openness,” Ra said during a recent interview.
Ra, who is also a professor of political science and a former South Korean ambassador to Japan and Britain, mined existing publications but also interviewed sources in South Korea, Japan and China, including high-ranking defectors from the North who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Jang met one of the daughters of North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung, while both attended Kim Il Sung University in the mid-1960s. The daughter, Kim Kyong Hee, developed a crush on Jang, who was tall and humorous — and sang and played the accordion.
60年代中期，张成泽认识了朝鲜开国领袖金日成(Kim Il Sung)的一个女儿金敬姬(Kim Kyong Hee)。当时，两人都在金日成大学(Kim Il Sung University)就读。金敬姬喜欢上了身材高大、性格幽默、既会唱歌又能拉手风琴的张成泽。
Her father transferred the young man to a provincial college to keep the two apart. But she hopped in her Soviet Volga sedan to see Jang each weekend.
Once they married in 1972, Jang's career took off under the patronage of Kim Jong Il, his brother-in-law and the designated successor of the regime.
两人1972年结婚。自此，在内兄、朝鲜政权指定接班人金正日(Kim Jong Il)的扶植下，张成泽平步青云。
In his memoir, a Japanese sushi chef for Kim Jong Il from 1988 to 2001 who goes by the alias Kenji Fujimoto remembered Jang as a fun-loving prankster who was a regular at banquets that could last until morning or even stretch a few days. A key feature of the events was a “pleasure squad” of young, attractive women who would dance the cancan, sing American country songs or perform a striptease, according to the book and accounts by defectors.
Jang also mobilized North Korean diplomats abroad to import Danish dairy products, Black Sea caviar, French cognac and Japanese electronics — gifts Kim handed out during his parties to keep his elites loyal.
But North Korean diplomats who have defected to South Korea also said that during his frequent trips overseas to shop for Kim, Jang would drink heavily and speak dejectedly about people dying of hunger back home.
Few benefited more than Jang from the regime he loyally served. But he was never fully embraced by the Kim family because he was not blood kin. This “liminal existence” enabled him to see the absurdities of the regime more clearly than any other figure within it, Ra wrote.
Ra said Hwang Jang Yop, a North Korean party secretary who defected to Seoul in 1997 and lived here until his death in 2010, shared a conversation he once had with Jang. When told that the North's economy was cratering, Jang responded sarcastically: “How can an economy already at the bottom go further down?”
ang's frequent partying with the “pleasure squad” strained his marriage. Senior defectors from the North said it was an open secret among the Pyongyang elite that the couple both had extramarital affairs.
Their only child, Jang Kum Song, killed herself in Paris in 2006. She overdosed on sleeping pills after the Pyongyang government caught wind of her dating a Frenchman and summoned her home.
Still, the marriage endured. When Kim Jong Il banished Jang three times for overstepping his authority, his wife intervened on his behalf.
After Kim suffered a stroke in 2008 and died in 2011, Jang helped his young nephew, Kim Jong Un, establish himself as successor. At the same time, he vastly expanded his own influence — and ambition.
He wrested the lucrative right of exporting coal to China from the military and gave it to his administrative department. He purged his rivals, including Ri Yong Ho, the chief of the military's general staff, and U Dong Chuk, a deputy director at the Ministry of State Security, the North's secret police.
他从军方手中夺去了向中国出口煤炭的权利，并将这桩利润丰厚的生意交给了自己领导的行政部。他还清除异己，包括军队总参谋长李英浩(Ri Yong Ho)和朝鲜秘密警察机构国家安全部(Ministry of State Security)副部长禹东测(U Dong Chuk)。
Jang's campaign for more influence was apparently aimed at pushing for the kind of economic overhaul that China has introduced, Ra wrote. But he underestimated how unpalatable the idea was to Kim Jong Un, whose totalitarian rule would be undermined by such reform.
Ra said it was impossible to establish the exact sequence of events that led to Jang's downfall. But it was clear his hubris played a role. At the height of his power, photographs in the North Korean media showed Jang leaning on an armrest, looking almost bored, while his nephew spoke.
Announcing his execution, North Korea said Jang, “human scum worse than a dog,” had betrayed the Kim family by plotting to overthrow the younger Kim, using economic collapse as a pretext, and to rule the country himself as premier and “reformer.”
He was accused of planting his followers in key posts and profiteering from minerals exports. His indictment pointedly noted that Jang had stood up and clapped only “halfheartedly” when Kim was being upheld as supreme leader.
In 2013, Kim, after hearing complaints about Jang's expansion of power, ordered his department to relinquish the management of a fishing farm and a condensed milk factory. But officials loyal to their “Comrade No. 1,” Jang, blocked those who arrived to carry out Kim's orders from entering their premises.
2013年，在听到对张成泽扩大权力的抱怨后，金正恩命令张成泽领导的行政部，放弃对一家养鱼场和一家炼乳厂的管理权。但忠于自己的“一号同志”(Comrade No. 1)张成泽的官员们，拒绝让那些前去执行金正恩命令的人入内。
It was probably the last straw for Kim, still unsure about himself and extremely sensitive about any challenge to his supposedly monolithic leadership. Meanwhile, Jang's enemies in the secret police were eager to go after him.
“There was no indication that he had a lawyer or was allowed to speak for himself during his trial,” Ra said. “It was not a trial but a murder.”
Jang's name has been expurgated from all official records in the North. Hundreds of his associates were purged. His wife is alive but sickly, according to the South Korean intelligence agency.
But some people in Pyongyang still remember his role in the tall apartment buildings, water parks and other showpiece projects he once zealously promoted to glorify his nephew's nascent leadership.