On the face of it, the report from a newspaper in China seems absurd. The story supplied new details of the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle. It had been thought that this man, named Jang Song Thaek, was killed by a firing squad. But according to the new report, he was actually stripped naked along with five of his associates and thrown into a cage with 120 hounds who had been fed nothing for three days.
According to the report, the hounds then ate the men alive, while Kim Jong Un and an audience of 200 to 300 government officials observed.
It is difficult to find a way to verify this report, as North Korea is a very isolated police state characterized by an extensive system of prison camps and secret police. That means that it may be impossible to prove that this happened. But on the other hand it may also be impossible to prove that it did not happen. One way to evaluate it is to ask if this degree of human savagery in North Korea is conceivable. The answer to that question is probably yes. the degree of savage cruelty existing in the network of labor camps there has been pretty well documented by escapees.
The young "Dear Leader" clearly had a falling out with his 67 year old mentor, the husband of his aunt, and had him executed. That is not the question- the question is how he was killed.
One could ask the question, is it plausible that the execution could be set up as assorted of "Roman Colloseum" show in this way, with a captive audience of government bureaucrats and military guys? At first, as I say, it seems absurd. But we should remember that North Korean culture is based on elaborate rituals intended to discourage any disloyalty to the ruling family. What better way to discourage disloyalty than to force you to watch a man torn to pieces by hungry dogs? I can admit that such a show would make an impression on me. True, it would make me hate the man orchestrating the performance. But at the same time, it would infect my soul with such raw terror and horror that an overt act of rebellion would perhaps become unlikely from me in future- especially when we recall that standard operating procedure in North Korea is to also execute every living relative of anyone who acts against the State.
So I struggle with this report. On one hand, I think it is undocumented hearsay. But on the other hand, from what I know of the culture of Godhood in North Korea and the elaborate devices of inhuman cruelty to support that culture, the report is perhaps believable. I hope someday we may know for sure. But considering how closed and secretive and based on lies North Korea is, I am not counting on knowing the truth in my lifetime. Not unless China somehow reaches the conclusion that it is time for the Kim family to fall.