Kim Jong-un executed envoys in a purge after failed Hanoi summit
May 31 2019
North Korea has reportedly executed several Foreign Ministry officials, including its special envoy to the USA, over the collapse of dictator Kim Jong-un's Vietnam summit with President Trump.
Kim Hyok Chol was the North's counterpart of U.S. special representative Stephen Biegun in the run-up to the Hanoi summit in February.
A North Korean source said the special envoy was "investigated and executed at Mirim Airport".
Mr. Kim Jong Un and Mr. Trump left the Vietnamese capital without a deal after they failed to reach agreement on rolling back Pyongyang's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
Kim Yong-chol, a senior who also attempted to thrash out a deal with the USA, was sent to a forced labour camp.
And Kim Jong-un's translator at the summit, Shin Hye Yong, is also in a political prison camp for making a critical interpretation mistake. South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported that the claims made by an unidentified source.
An official at South Korea's unification ministry declined to comment. North Korea has not reported any execution or purge of top officials in recent months.
News of the reported purge came as North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, mouthpiece of the ruling party, on Thursday warned that officials who committed anti-party or anti-revolutionary acts would face the "stern judgement of the revolution". -North Korea summit earlier this year after a special envoy to the United States and four foreign ministry officials were executed because they were held responsible for its collapse.
The source also said that a senior official who had been U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's counterpart in the run-up to the summit, Kim Yong Chol, is being subjected to forced labor and ideological education in Jagang Province.
Recently, North Korea tested short range ballistic missiles in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, but Pres. Trump publicly disagreed with both Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and national security adviser John Bolton.
Madden, however, said Kim Yo Jong's status remained unchanged as Kim Jong Un's top aide, citing her attendance at key party meetings in April and appearance in state media reports.
It is the first time since the December 2013 execution of Jang Song-thaek, Kim's uncle, that expressions such as "anti-party, anti-revolutionary" and "stern judgment" have appeared in Rodong Sinmun, according to Chosun Ilbo.