Kim Jong-un EXECUTES his man in America: Special envoy to US is killed by firing squad for ‘betraying the supreme leader‘ over failed Trump summit along with four other officials (and the interpreter is sent to a labour camp)
Kim Jong-un has executed his envoy to the U.S. for ‘betraying the supreme leader‘ as part of ruthless purge of officials after the dictator‘s failed summit with Donald Trump, it has been claimed.
Kim Hyok Chol is said to have been shot by a firing squad in March at Mirim Airport for being ‘won over to the US,‘ during nuclear negotiations with Trump.
The top diplomat, who accompanied Kim on his private train ahead of the summit in Vietnam, was one of four senior foreign ministry officials executed at the airfield, a source told South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.
The other officials were not named, but all allegedly became U.S. ‘spies‘ after the failed second negotiations between Trump and Kim Jong-un ended abruptly in February.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this morning that Washington was checking the reports.
According to the reports, another senior official, Kim Yong Chol, who had been in nuclear discussions with Pompeo, was sent to a forced labour camp for ideological re-education.
Kim Song Hye, a woman who worked with Hyok Chol in talks with Pompeo was reportedly sent to another prison camp. The paper also said Kim Jong Un‘s interpreter Shin Hye Yong was sent to a prison camp for a mistake at the summit.
She failed to translate Kim‘s new proposal when Trump declared ‘no deal‘ and walked away from the table, Chosun reported, citing another unnamed diplomatic source.
Shin was charged with making critical interpretation mistakes that included missing an unspecified ‘last-minute offer‘ the North Korean leader supposedly made as Trump was about to walk out, Chosun reported.
News of the reported purge came as North Korea‘s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, mouthpiece of the ruling party, warned that officials who committed anti-party or anti-revolutionary acts would face the ‘stern judgement of the revolution‘.
Pyongyang has previously executed scapegoats to atone for high-profile political flops, and the most recent summit between Kim and Trump ended in failure, leaving the North Korean dictator embarrassed on the world stage.
However, both South Korean media and the government in Seoul have a history of reporting scoops about the inner workings of North Korea that turn out to be wrong.
Pompeo: US checking purge claims
The United States is attempting to check on reports that a senior North Korean official involved in Pyongyang‘s non-proliferation talks with Washington has been executed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.
‘We‘ve seen the reporting to which you are referring,‘ Pompeo told a news conference in Berlin in answer to a reporter‘s question. ‘We‘re doing our best to check it out. I don‘t have anything else to add to that today.‘
Earlier on Friday, a South Korean newspaper reported that nuclear envoy Kim Hyok Choi had been executed as part of a purge of officials who steered negotiations for a failed summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Supposedly executed officials have later appeared trotting alongside Kim on state TV after their reported demise.
The recent reports of purges would be the first-high profile killings the trigger-happy dictator has ordered since his uncle was reportedly blown to pieces by an anti-aircraft gun during his execution in December 2013.
Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Un‘s uncle reportedly committed ‘anti-party, anti-revolutionary acts.‘
Kim Hyok Chol was the North‘s counterpart of U.S. nuclear envoy Stephen Biegun in the run-up to the Hanoi summit in February.
‘He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions,‘ the source was quoted as saying.
Hyok Chol was seen as a rising star but little was known about his expertise or the role he undertook during those talks.
The other four executed alongside him included diplomats working on Vietnam relations, the Chosun report said.
The diplomatic source said the detention of Kim Song Hye, the woman who worked with Pompeo, was inevitable because she was a ‘prime author‘ of the North‘s plan to secure sanctions relief in return for dismantling the Yongbyon main nuclear complex.
The idea was rejected by the Americans who demanded a comprehensive road map for denuclearisation.
Kim Jong-un‘s ruthless executions
Kim Jong-un‘s reign of terror has included spates of killings, including his own uncle‘s execution in 2013 and the assassination of his half-brother at Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017.
Over 400 officials are reported to have been executed or exiled since he took power in 2011, with reports of victims being blown up with anti-aircraft guns, burned alive with flamethrowers and hanged.
In some cases, entire families of officials have been executed, it has been reported.
His father had carried out executions in his early days to consolidate power, but Kim‘s killings have seen no let up since he took power eight years ago.
Army commander Kim Chol was reportedly executed by a mortar shell in April 2012 after he allegedly disrespected the former leader Kim Jong-il during a period of national mourning.
The commander‘s body was blown apart by a mortar shell after he was accused of ‘drinking and carousing.‘
A month later another senior defence minister, Kim Yong Chun, was understood to have been executed using the same grisly method.
Kim Jong-un‘s uncle Jang Song-thaek is understood to have forced his uncle to watch two of his colleagues being blown to pieces by anti-aircraft rounds in December 2013.
Blood from the men spattered across his face and clothes, a defector claimed this month.
Then his uncle was killed with a barrage from the eight AA guns.
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Kim was reportedly extremely drunk when he ordered the executions of Ri Ryong-ha and Jang Su-Gilone, two of his uncle‘s closest aides.
All of his uncle‘s direct family were executed in the purge, including Jang Yong-chol who was the former North Korean ambassador to Malaysia, it was claimed.
O Sang-hon, the deputy minister for public security, was reportedly tied to a stake and burned alive after Kim alleged corruption against him.
Another eleven officials were reportedly rounded up and executed due to their persisting loyalty for Kim‘s late uncle Jang Song-thaek.
He killed his husband‘s wife, Kim Kyong-hui. his blood-related aunt by poisoning after she continued to protest her husband‘s death.
In May 2015, North Korea‘s vice-premier Choe Yong-gon was reportedly executed for disagreeing with Kim‘s forestry policy.
An unnamed turtle keeper was also killed that month when he tried to explain to the leader how power shortages and starvation had lead to turtle deaths.
Kim reportedly ordered his death by firing squad for the act of insubordination.
In August 2016, it was reported Hwang Min, a senior agricultural official, and Ri Yong-jin, of the eduation department, were killed.
Ri Yong-jin had reportedly fallen asleep in a meeting, while Hwang Min was accused of challenging Kim‘s authority.
Days later it was reported Kim Yong Jin, North Korea’s vice premier for education, was executed by firing squad for having a ‘bad attitude.‘
He is understood to have failed to maintain good posture during a public event.
Kim Jong Nam (pictured), the exiled half brother of North Korea‘s leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated in 2017
His half-brother Kim Jong-nam, 45, was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.
A post-mortem examination found that he had been killed with nerve agent VX, one of the most deadly chemical weapons on earth.
His estranged brother lived abroad and was seen as an embarrassment to the family having previously been tipped to replace his father as leader.
He had gone to a Swiss boarding school and fallen in love with western luxuries, rather than showing any desire to lead the Communist rogue state.
A woman approached him in the airport, wiping an oily substance onto his face, before walking away.
Moments later another woman cam and put her hands on his face. In less than 20 minutes he was dead.
Kim Song Hye had also worked closely with Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader‘s younger sister and a senior party official whom Kim Song Hye accompanied to South Korea for the Winter Olympics last year.
Kim Yo Jong was also lying low, the paper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean government official. Chosun Ilbo said the sister may have been reprimanded by Kim or may even be suffering with pneumonia.
South Korea‘s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, declined to comment on the report.
There is now growing concern that the diplomacy that has blossomed since early 2018 could be replaced by a return to the animosity that in 2017 caused some of the most realistic fears of war in years as the North staged a string of increasingly powerful weapons and Kim and Trump traded intensely personal threats and insults.
Since the Hanoi nuclear summit ended in failure, North Korea has again tested weapons and boosted its belligerent rhetoric toward American and South Korean officials. Analysts believe this indicates Pyongyang is trying to show displeasure for the current impasse without destroying the diplomacy.
Seoul‘s spy service said it could not confirm Friday‘s report, while the presidential Blue House said that ‘it‘s inappropriate to make hasty judgements or comments.‘
If the report is wrong, it would not be the first time for South Korean media and officials.
South Korean intelligence officials in 2016 said that Kim Jong-un had Ri Yong Gil, a former North Korean military chief, executed for corruption and other charges.
North Korea‘s state media months later showed that Ri was alive and in possession of several new senior posts.
In 2013, the Chosun Ilbo reported that Hyon Song Wol, a famous North Korean artist the newspaper described as Kim‘s ‘ex-girlfriend,‘ was executed in public along with several other performers over accusations that they filmed themselves having sex and selling the videos.
Hyon, the leader of Kim‘s hand-picked Moranbong all-female band, was very much alive and later emerged as a key member of Kim‘s government, accompanying him in his meetings with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
But the South Korean press do get it right.
While many questioned the competence of the South Korean spy service after it failed to learn of the 2011 death of Kim‘s father, Kim Jong Il, before Pyongyang‘s state TV announced it, the intelligence agency saved face in 2013 by releasing its finding that Kim‘s powerful uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was purged, days before North Korea announced his execution.
Kim Jong Un and Trump left the Vietnamese capital without a deal after they failed to reach agreement on rolling back Pyongyang‘s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
The North has since sought to raise the pressure and carried out two short-range missile tests in May.
In April, South Korea‘s parliamentary intelligence committee said Kim Yong Chol had been censured over his handling of the Hanoi summit, despite the fact he had recently been named a member of the State Affairs Commission, a supreme governing body chaired by Kim Jong Un.
The Chosun Ilbo itself incorrectly reported in 2013 that Hyon Song Wol, head of the North‘s Samjiyon Orchestra, was executed by firing squad for distributing and watching pornographic content.
And the Unification Ministry also mistakenly announced in February 2016 that Ri Yong Gil, chief of the general staff of the North Korean People‘s Army, had been executed.