From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.
This week, North Korea executed the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un. The official Korean Central News Agency said Jang Song Thaek was put to death on Thursday after facing a special military court. It said Jang was found guilty of attempting to overthrow the state, party and leadership. He was also accused of womanizing and drug abuse.
The announcement came just days after Jang Song Thaek was publicly ousted from power for suspected disloyalty and corruption. Korean Central Television broadcast images of his arrest on Sunday at a meeting of the Korean Workers' Party.
On Friday, the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published pictures of Jang at the military trial. They showed him lowering his head, with guards on both sides.
Andrei Lankov is a professor of Korean history at Kookmin University in South Korea. He says ousters, or purges, of North Korean officials are not uncommon. But he says the level of publicity in this case is unusual.
"In the past, hundreds or maybe even thousands of high level officials have been purged. Some of them executed. Some of them were sent to exile or prison. However, with very few exceptions in most areas, purges have always been fixed. Unlike say the Soviet Union under Stalin, when they remove the high level official, they usually did not make it public. When they did, it was never on such a scale."
Leonid Petrov is a Korea expert with the Australian National University. He questions whether Jang Song Thaek was actually plotting to overthrow the government.
"I think this has nothing to do with what really happened. Jang Song Thaek was a loyal member of Kim's regime. He was appointed by Kim Jong Il to supervise his son. Jang Song Thaek was doing everything possible to promote Kim Jong Un's image."
Leonid Petrov says a personal or family dispute could have led to the execution. But he says it is also clear that Mr. Kim considered his uncle a threat. And he says the North Korean leader felt the need to send a message that he is in complete control.
"The elites are scared to death at the moment. And the grassroots population of North Korea also gets the message that it is Kim Jong Un who is in the driving seat. They must follow his orders, and there's simply no alternative or any place for dissent in North Korea."
Mr. Jang was quietly ousted from power not once, but two times under the former North Korean leader. But he regained power with the help of his wife Kim Kyong Hui, the sister of the former leader.
Much of North Korea's central leadership is from the rule of Kim Jong Il. Many officials are in their 60s or 70s. This has led some observers to debate the level of their support for 30-year-old Kim Jong Un.
Mr. Kim took power two years ago. Since then, he has replaced more than 40 percent of high level officials, and built his rule with a younger generation loyal to him.
There were no signs of unrest in North Korea following the execution. But the South Korean Defense Ministry said it was closely watching the North Korean military for aggressive movements.
On Friday, the office of South Korea's president held a national security meeting to discuss the situation on the Korean peninsula. A Unification Ministry official said South Korea is watching the events with concern.
And that's In the News, from VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.
1.attempt v. 试图，企图
The prisoners attempted to escape but failed.
2.overthrow vt. 打倒，推翻
They conspired with the terrorists to overthrow the Government.
3.oust vt. 驱逐，罢黜
Last week they tried to oust him in a parliamentary vote of no confidence.
4.purge vt. 清除，（使）净化
His first act as leader was to purge the party of extremists.
5.plot v. 密谋
The military were plotting a coup...
6.aggressive adj. 侵略的，侵犯的
The dogs are trained to be aggressive.
1.He was also accused of womanizing and drug abuse.
His father would accuse him of neglecting his filial duties.
2.He says ousters, or purges, of North Korean officials are not uncommon.
3.And the grassroots population of North Korea also gets the message that it is Kim Jong Un who is in the driving seat.
it is Kim Jong Un who强调句
Mary met an old beggar in the street yesterday.
It was Mary who/that met an old beggar in the street yesterday.
It was an old beggar whom/that Mary met in the street yesterday.(强调宾语)
It was yesterday that Mary met an old beggar in the street.(强调时间状语)
It was in the street that Mary met an old beggar yesterday.(强调地点状语)
本周，朝鲜处决了金正恩的姑父张成泽。朝鲜中央通讯社表示，张成泽在特别军事法庭受审后于周四被执行死刑 。报道称，张成泽试图叛党，叛国，推翻领导权 。他还被指控沉迷女色，吸食毒品 。
Andrei Lankov是韩国国民大学朝鲜历史方面的教授。他表示，朝鲜官员中的放逐或清洗运动并不罕见 。但是他表示，该案件的公开程度非比寻常 。
“过去，数百名或许甚至上千名高官被清洗。其中一些被处决，一些被流放或监禁 。然而，除了少数例外，清洗运动都是保密的 。与苏联斯大林时期的大清洗不同，朝鲜处理高官时通常不会公布 。即使公布，也不会如此大规模 。”
Leonid Petrov是澳大利亚国立大学朝鲜问题专家。他质疑张成泽是否真的阴谋推翻政府 。
“我认为这与事实真相毫无关系。张成泽是金正恩政权的忠实成员 。他由金正日委任来监督辅佐他的儿子 。张成泽不遗余力地帮助金正恩提升形象 。”
Leonid Petrov表示，导致张成泽被处决的可能是私人或家庭纷争。但是他表示，很明显的一点是，金正恩将他的姑父视为一个威胁 。他表示，这位朝鲜领导人觉得有必要发出一个信息，政权完全在他的掌控之中 。
“精英们人心惶惶。朝鲜普通大众也得到了信息，掌握生杀大权的是金正恩 。他们必须遵守他的命令，朝鲜的异见分子没有任何选择，没有任何余地 。”
朝鲜中央领导人中的大部分来自金正日统治时期。许多官员都已经六七十岁 。这导致一些观察家争议他们对30岁的金正恩的支持水平 。
以上就是今天的美国之音慢速学英语时事新闻节目。我是Steve Ember 。