Seoul, May 31: North Korea has executed its nuclear diplomat to the United States (US) in a purge who steered negotiations for the failed summit between US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, according to a South Korean newspaper reports on Friday.
According to Reuters news reports, envoy Kim Hyok Chol was in March executed by Pyongyang at Mirim Airpot, along with other four foreign ministry executives after being charged over spying for America, the Chosun Ilbo has reported, citing an unidentified source having knowledge of the matter.
The source was quoted as saying, “He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions.”
The second summit between Trump and Kim was held in February last in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, which had ended abruptly without reaching a nuclear deal as both leaders were at loggerhead over the course of difference as Trump focused on Kim’s last year commitment of complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, whereas Kim stressed over US sanction relief.
Earlier, the North Korean official was reportedly purged or executed only to reappear with a new title.
But according to diplomatic sources, there were no signs the envoy along with other executives were punished for the failure of the Hanoi summit.