(USA TODAY) -- Strange and secretive North Korea made news again Thursday when the powerful uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was executed as a "traitor for all ages," the official news agency reported. North Korean media said Jang Song Thaek had been purged for crimes that included faction-building, corruption, drug use and womanizing. Here are some of the most bizarre stories that have been reported about the country since Kim Jong Un took power in late 2011.
Prominent general purged
Gen. Ri Young Ho, a military leader who appeared in most of the last public photos of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, before he died, disappeared from the scene in July 2012. Coupled with Jang's execution, Kim has now purged two of the most influential people in his father's regime, at the top of the party and the military.
Army minister executed
Amnesty International's 2013 annual report said that according to unconfirmed reports, Army Minister Kim Chol was executed in early 2012 for drunkenness and inappropriate behavior during the mourning period of Kim's father and former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Kim's ex-girlfriend executed
A report out of North Korea claimed that Kim Jong Un's former girlfriend was executed, along with several other entertainers, by a firing squad in August. Chosun Ilbo, an English language newspaper in South Korea, said unnamed sources in China said Hyon Song Wol, a singer, was arrested along with about a dozen others, who were members of the Unhasu Orchestra. They were accused of making a sex tape and selling it. They were shot three days later for violating the country's pornography laws.
Kim's 'bro-mance' with Dennis Rodman
Former basketball star Dennis Rodman shocked the world when he met and praised Kim Jong Un, a basketball fan, during a visit to North Korea in February, becoming the first American to meet the leader. Rodman returned to North Korea in September and now says he's preparing to thrill North Korean fans during an exhibition basketball tour there in December.
'Onion' dubs Kim 'sexiest man alive,' and China believes it
A spoof article about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un being the sexiest man alive ended up as a real news item in China. Hong Kong media picked up the piece by U.S. satirical website The Onion while explaining to readers in Chinese that it was a farce. But from there, it jumped over the Great Firewall and landed into the official, irony-free Chinese media.
North Korea executes 80 people in one day
A South Korean newspaper reported that North Korea publicly executed around 80 people in seven cities in November. Their crimes included reportedly watching unsanctioned South Korean TV shows and being found in possession of a Bible. The daily JoongAng Ilbo cited a single, unidentified source.