North Korea confirmed on Monday that Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, had been dismissed for committing “criminal acts”.

Jang had previously been considered to be the second most powerful man in the country.

“Jang and his followers committed criminal acts baffling imagination and they did tremendous harm to our party and revolution,” the North’s KCNA news agency said in a report following a ruling Workers’ Party politburo meeting on Sunday.

Jang has been relieved of all posts and titles, state media reported.