North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is carrying out a purge after failed Hanoi summit by ‘executing a special envoy to the U.S. and four other officials held responsible for its collapse’
- Kim Jong-un is believed to be carrying out a massive purge following the failed U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam earlier this year
- Kim Hyok Chol, a special envoy to the U.S., was executed in March, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on Friday
- Four other foreign ministry officials who carried out working-level negotiations for the summit, were also executed
- They were among those who were held responsible for the summit’s collapse
Kim Jong-un is believed to be carrying out a massive purge following the failed U.S.-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 special envoy, Kim Hyok Chol, as well as the four officials who carried out working-level negotiations for the second summit are said to have been executed in March, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on Friday.
They were also reportedly charged with spying for the United States prior to their executions.
‘Kim Hyok Chol was investigated and executed at Mirim Airport with four foreign ministry officials in March,’ an unnamed North Korea source said, according to the newspaper.
Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s special representative for U.S. affairs, was reportedly executed in March after being among those held responsible for the collapse of the U.S-North Korea summit in Vietnam
Kim Hyok Chol had been negotiations counterpart to U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun before the summit.
A senior official who had been U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s counterpart in the run-up to the summit in Hanoi is said to have been subjected to forced labor and ideological education.
That official, Kim Yong Chol, was forced to work in Jagang Province after his dismissal.
Kim Song Hye, who carried out working-level negotiations with Kim Hyok Chol, was reportedly sent to a political prison camp.
Shin Hye Yong, the interpreter for Kim Jong Un at the Hanoi meeting, is also said to have been detained in a political prison camp for undermining the authority of the North Korean leader by making a critical interpretation mistake, Chosun reported.
The North Korean leader is believed to be carrying out a massive purge to divert attention away from internal turmoil and discontent following the failed summit with President Trump
Kim Yong Chol, one of Kim Jong-un’s closest aides, is said to have been subjected to forced labor and ideological education following the summit. He is pictured with Trump during a visit to the White House in June 2018
Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister who aided him in Hanoi, is also said to be lying low, the paper reported, citing an unnamed South Korean government official who said ‘We are not aware of Kim Yo Jong’s track record since the Hanoi meeting… We understand that Kim Jong Un has made her lie low.’
The North Korean leader is believed to be carrying out a massive purge to divert attention away from internal turmoil and discontent, the newspaper said.
North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary on Thursday that ‘acting like one is revering the Leader in front (of others) but dreaming of something else when one turns around, is an anti-Party, anti-revolutionary act that has thrown away the moral fidelity toward the Leader, and such people will not avoid the stern judgment of the revolution.’
‘There are traitors and turncoats who only memorize words of loyalty toward the Leader and even change according to the trend of the time,’ the commentary said.
It is the first time since the December 2013 execution of Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Un’s uncle, that expressions hinting at purging such as ‘anti-party, anti-revolutionary’ and ‘stern judgment’ appeared in Rodong Sinmun, Chosun Ilbo said.
An official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry declined comment.