North Korea's Kim Jong-un 'executes envoy for Hanoi summit with Trump amid purge of officials'

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North Korea executed Kim Hyok-chol, its special envoy to the United States, and foreign ministry officials who carried out working-level negotiations for the second US-North Korea summit in February, holding them responsible for its collapse, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday.

Kim Yong-chol, a senior official who had been US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s counterpart in the run-up to the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, is also said to have been subjected to forced labour and ideological education, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

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.

“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 Chosun Ilbo, adding that they were charged with spying for the United States.

Kim Hyok-chol had been negotiations counterpart to US special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun before the summit.



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