North Korea Executes Envoy After Failed U.S. Summit Meeting

President Donald Trump disembarks Marine One.

President Donald Trump disembarks Marine One on the PCU Gerald R. Ford, Newport News, Virginia, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

North Korea allegedly executed its nuclear envoy to the United States after another failed summit talk between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. As part of a purge of senior officials who helped negotiations at the summit meeting, several officials found themselves dead after the meeting did not end the way Kim Jong Un wanted.

In March four foreign ministry officials and Kim Hyok Chol were executed at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang after they were charged with spying for the United States. “He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions,” the unidentified source was quoted as saying.

The Chosun Ilbo [1], a South Korean news site, has previously told of officials who have been executed by their government but their claims were later found to be false. And although it is one of South Korea’s largest daily newspapers, it is hard to get information out of North Korea.

In February, Trump and Kim Jong Un held their second summit in Vietnam. Again they were unable to reach an agreement because North Korea refused to meet the U.S.’ calls for complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and North Korea wanting sanctions relief.

A spokesperson for South Korea’s Unification Ministry declined to comment on the matter, and an official at the presidential Blue House in Seoul said it was inappropriate to comment on an unverified source. White House spokesperson, Sarah Sanders, also declined to comment, telling reporters, “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 denuclearisation,” she told reporters in Washington. [2]

Since their second failed summit meeting, North Korea has resumed its testing on short-range ballistic missiles for the first time since 2017. In April, Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin held their first meeting. [3]

A diplomatic source later told reporters that although Kim Hyok Chol and other officials were punished for the outcome of negotiations, they were not executed.


Notes:

  1. ^Kim Jong-un ‘Brutally Purged Officials’ After Failed Summit.” 31 May. 2019, english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2019/05/31/2019053101126.html. (go back↩)
  2. ^North Korea executes envoy in a purge after failed U.S. summit: media https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-purge/north-koreas-kim-jong-un-carrying-out-purge-after-hanoi-summit-collapse-chosun-ilbo-idUSKCN1T02PD (go back↩)
  3. ^Hjelmgaard, Kim. “North Korea executes nuclear envoy to U.S. after failed Trump summit: report.” USA TODAY, 31 May. 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/05/31/north-korea-executes-senior-officials-over-failed-trump-summit-report/1296383001. (go back↩)

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