US to investigate reports N. Korea executed senior diplomat after Hanoi summit failure

Following a slew of reports that North Korea had executed a senior envoy who participated in the Hanoi peace summit with US President Donald Trump, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he’s ‘checking it out.’

“We’ve seen the reporting to which you are referring,” Pompeo told a news conference in Berlin Friday, answering a question about reports in South Korean media that nuclear envoy Kim Hyok Choi had been executed by Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“We’re doing our best to check it out. I don’t have anything else to add to that today.”

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo daily reported Thursday on the execution of Choi and four other high-level officials, following the breakdown in negotiations at the Hanoi peace summit in February of this year.

For its part, North Korea has yet to comment on the allegations, though the secretive state has used executions to cover up public failures in the past.

That said, South Korean media have previously falsely reported that senior officials had been executed, only for them to emerge on state TV after their apparent demise.

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