After the failed Vietnam summit with President Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un decided to take out his anger on his diplomats who were involved in the failed February summit. Five North Korean foreign ministry officials were reportedly executed by firing squad after being charged with spying for the United States.
An unidentified source with knowledge of the incident stated the following about the reason for the executions in the South Korean newspaper the Chosun Ilbo, “Accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions.” The five were reportedly executed at the Mirim Airport in Pyongyang, the country’s capital.
Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, is leading the attempt to check on the reports of the executions. Pompeo, who was in Berlin at the time, says that it appears that he as the head U.S diplomat will be working with someone different from North Korea, “but we don’t know that for sure.” The secretive Asian nation has had a history of “shake ups” with regards to North Korean government officials. Kim Yong Chol, one of North Korea’s top officials who visited the White House, was reportedly forced into hard labor and “re-education”.
He was Pompeo’s counterpart in the nuclear negotiations with the main issue being denuclearization of North Korea, which was the prime reason the Hanoi summit ended in failure. Because not much is known about the events that go on in North Korea, there are many different possible reasons. Since North Korea is notorious for its executions and labor camps, it is harder to find the truth.
The state-controlled media gave out an ominous warning to people it described as “two-faced” in the country which is not unusual in the controlling nation, which is infamous for its silence of dissent.