North Korea executes envoy in purge after failed US summit: Seoul media

SEOUL: North Korea executed its nuclear envoy to the United States as part of a purge of officials who steered negotiations for a failed summit between leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, a South Korean newspaper said on Friday.
Kim Hyok Chol was executed in March at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang, along with four foreign ministry officials after they were charged with spying for the United States, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the situation.
“He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping US intentions,” the source was quoted as saying.
The February summit in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, the second between Kim and Trump, failed to reach a deal because of conflicts over US calls for complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and North Korean demands for sanctions relief.
Reuters was unable to independently confirm the report. Previously, North Korean officials have been executed or purged only to reappear with a new title, according to media reports.
A spokeswoman at South Korea’s Unification Ministry declined to comment. An official at the presidential Blue House in Seoul said it was inappropriate to comment on an unverified report. SEE P4