Before their split: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in February 2012. Earlier this month, Jang was executed. Kyodo/Landov hide caption

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Jang Song Thaek, who was North Korea's second-most powerful official, was put to death this week. Kyodo/Landov hide caption

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On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Frank Langfitt talks about a high-profile execution in North Korea

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A still image taken from North Korea's state-run television footage and released Monday shows Jang Song Thaek being forcibly removed by uniformed personnel from a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang. Yonhap/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Former basketball star Dennis Rodman at Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, before his flight to Pyongyang, North Korea. Petar Kujundzic /Reuters /Landov hide caption

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From the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn reports on Dennis Rodman's latest visit to North Korea

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North Korean soldiers marched past statues of founder Kim Il Sung and his son, former leader Kim Jong Il, on Monday in Pyongyang. North Korea celebrated Kim Il Sung's 101st birthday. Kyodo /Landov hide caption

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On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks with Andrei Lankov about North Korea

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Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Kerry sought China's help in easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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On Wednesday, a North Korean soldier looked on from the banks of the Yalu River on the border with China. Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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From 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt and David Greene discuss the latest news from the Korean peninsula

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Japan is on full alert ahead of an expected mid-range missile launch by North Korea, its defense minister said as the U.N. warned of a potentially 'uncontrollable' situation. A Japanese soldier walks past a missile launcher deployed in Tokyo. Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Two women sit at a cafe Monday in central Seoul, South Korea. While North Korea has been issuing threats on a daily basis, many South Koreans say they're more bored than worried. Lee Jae-Won /Reuters /Landov hide caption

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On 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt reports from Seoul

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Turned back: South Korean trucks returned Wednesday after being barred from entering a joint industrial complex just across the border inside North Korea. Park Jin-hee/Xinhua /Landov hide caption

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