North Korea Execute Senior Govt Officials For Allegedly Leaking Information To The U.S Ahead Of Failed Talks.
24 April 2019
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Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump meet before the talks that eventually failed.

North Korea executed four officials from its foreign ministry after Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump’s latest summit failed, a new report has claimed.

The officials are said to have been killed by a firing squad in Pyongyang earlier this month after Kim and Trump’s talks in Vietnam broke off without a deal.

A Japanese press agency reported that the rumours were spreading through the secretive country after it spoke to a trade official who recently visited North Korea and a source inside the hermit state.

According to the report, North Korea had accused the four officials of selling information to the US before the Hanoi summit, causing it to fail.

The four who were shot dead, according to the rumour, are said to include a diplomat from North Korea’s embassy in Hanoi.

However, Japan’s Asia Press which reported the information on Wednesday along with South Korean media, said the claims of the apparent executions have not been verified.

The verification of claims out of North Korea is very difficult given the country’s secrecy and that its media is controlled by the state. Communication with the outside world is highly restricted, and the punishment for anyone caught sharing information can be severe.

Asia Press said one of its reporters spoke to a trade official who heard the rumour when they travelled to Pyongyang from China in mid-April.A source who lives close to the border told the agency that four officials were executed in Pyongyang at the beginning of April for leaking information.

It is claimed four foreign ministry officials were executed in Pyongyang

The execution was watched by members of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and Korean People’s Army, it is claimed.

The source told Asia Press that the officials were accused of selling information to the US government before Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in late February.

For the US, the talks were aimed at achieving denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula, while North Korea was seeking to have crippling sanctions lifted.

Neither aim was achieved and the talks abruptly broke off.

The Hanoi summit was held after talks in Singapore last year also failed to produce a deal.

According to the rumour, the officials who were executed were blamed for the summit’s failure.

But there was speculation that the claims were fabricated in an attempt to shift the responsibility for the failure off of Kim and onto officials who allegedly betrayed the leader.

In early April, it was reported Kim had visited his father’s birthplace, the sacred Paektu Mountain – a trip he traditionally makes before making big decisions.

His uncle Jang Song-thaek, 67, was executed for alleged treason a month after the leader visited the mountain in November 2013.

Kim visited the mountain after the Singapore summit with Trump and before his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim and Moon visited Paektu along with their wives in September last year.

Kim and his wife Ri Sol-ju pose with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook on the top of Mount Paektu

Photos showed the two leaders clutching hands on top of the mountain.

Days after Kim’s most recent visit he held a session of the Supreme People’s Assembly where he warned that relations with the US will remain “hostile” until crippling sanctions are lifted and the US and South Korea end war games near the border.

It emerged after the assembly that Kim may have given his sister, Kim Yo-jong, a demotion.

The adviser was considered the most powerful woman in North Korea – joining him at the summits with Trump and appearing at last year’s Winter Olympics – but she may have been kicked out of its Politburo, according to reports.

But she has joined him in Russia for his meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

Mirror UK