An American who went missing in Iran six years ago worked for the CIA and was not in the country on a business trip as US officials had claimed, US media reported. In a case that had long been shrouded in secrecy, the Associated Press and The Washington Post published lengthy reports revealing how retired FBI agent Robert Levinson had been paid by the CIA to gather intelligence.
North Korea said Friday it had executed the uncle of leader Kim Jong-Un, branding the once-powerful Jang Song-Thaek as a "traitor for all ages", as the United States and South Korea expressed concern at the shock purge in the one-party state. In a stunning downfall, Jang -- who had been seen as Kim's political regent and the country's unofficial number two -- was executed on Thursday immediately after a special military trial, state news agency KCNA reported in a viciously worded attack. He committed such a "hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state", it said, while also making the rare admission that North Korea is experiencing economic strife. Jang, 67, played a key role in cementing the leadership of the inexperienced Kim when he succeeded his father Kim Jong-Il in 2011, but analysts said his power and influence had become increasingly resented.