North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday boasted of “resolute”¬†actions resulting in the elimination of¬†”factionalist filth” — a reference to his once powerful uncle and mentor, whose purge and execution last month have raised questions about the country's stability.

Kim's comments were part of an annual New Year's message, including those focusing on one of the biggest political developments in Pyongyang in years, and certainly since the young leader took power two years ago after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, will be closely scrutinized by outside analysts and governments for clues about the opaque country's intentions and policy goals.

North Korea's “resolute” action to “eliminate factionalist filth” within the ruling Workers' Party has bolstered the country's unity “by 100 times,” Kim said in a speech broadcast by state TV.

Analysts are divided about what Jang Song Thaek's execution on treason charges means, but many believe it shows Kim Jong Un has yet to establish the same absolute power that his father and grandfather enjoyed. Jang was widely considered the country's No.2 power.

Officials in Seoul say potential instability in the North could lead to the country launching provocations against South Korea to help consolidate internal unity. Attacks blamed on North Korea killed 50 South Koreans in 2010, and tension on the Korean Peninsula still lingers, although Pyongyang has backed away from war rhetoric from early last year that included threats of nuclear attacks against Washington and Seoul.