Five North Korean officials responsible for negotiations at the last U.S. Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, were executed, a South Korean newspaper reported Friday.
The Chosun Ilbo reported that Kim Hyok Chol was executed in March, just after February’s failed summit at Pyongyang’s Mirim Airport. Four other foreign ministry officials were also executed at the same time. (RELATED: ‘He’s Trying To Grab Trump’s Attention’: North Korea Test-Fires ‘Projectiles’ Into The Sea)
According to the report, the executions were carried out after the five were charged with spying for the U.S. An unidentified source reportedly told the Chosun Ilbo that Kim Hyok Chol “was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions.”
Negotiations at the February summit fell apart when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made it clear that he was not ready to offer complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. President Donald Trump was unwilling to meet North Korea’s demands for relaxed sanctions absent a promise of denuclearization, and he left the summit abruptly when they reached a stalemate.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hinted that he might have been aware that something had happened to the North Korean envoy in early May, telling ABC’s Jonathan Karl that he expected that the next time he met with the North Koreans his counterpart “will be someone else.”