According to a Friday report from a South Korean newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo, North Korea executed its nuclear envoy to the U.S. as a part of the cleaning of officials who were responsible in some way for the failed summit between the leaders of North Korea and the United States, Kim Jong Un, and Donald Trump.
Kim Hyok Chol along with four foreign ministry officials was executed in March after they were accused of spying for the United States, the newspaper cites its source.
‘’He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly gasping U.S. intentions.’’
The second summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump that happened in February in Vietnam was considered a failure as both leaders did not reach a deal for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
Officials from both countries denied commenting on the recent events as White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was talking with the reporters in Washington and said ‘’I am not going to comment on intelligence one way or another. I can tell you we are monitoring the situation and continuing to stay focused on our ultimate goal, which is denuclearization.’’
The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also shared his thoughts on the recent events during an interview with ABC News saying that the United States is attempting to check on the reports of the envoy’s execution. In the same interview, he was asked about reports of a shake-up of Kim Jong Un’s negotiating team, to which he replied that it did appear that his future counterpart would be somebody else ‘’but we don’t know that for sure.’’
There were sings that Kim Hyok Chol and other officials were punished, but there was no evidence that they were executed and that they may have been sent to a labor camp for re-education, according to information from a diplomatic source that Reuters received.