North Korea confirmed on Monday the dismissal of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un who was previously considered the second most powerful man in the secretive state, for committing "criminal acts". "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. (Reporting by Jack Kim and Ju-min Park. Editing by Dean Yates)
Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel heads to Pakistan on Monday for talks as Washington seeks to defuse tensions over controversial US drone strikes and Islamabad's role in Afghanistan. In the first visit by a US defence secretary in nearly four years, Hagel will fly from Kabul to Islamabad to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other top officials, including the country's new army chief.