Report: Vice-premier of North Korea executed

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea
Image: Nicor.

A report published Wednesday by the Yonhap News Agency claims vice premier Choe Yong-gon of North Korea was executed in May. The report, which cites an unnamed source, has not been confirmed by Wikinews or other agencies. The government of North Korea rarely makes statements about its internal affairs.

According to the report, the 63-year-old Choe had disagreed with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un's forestry policies. Choe, one of seven vice premiers, was in charge of construction and building material industries. He was appointed to the position in June of 2014. Choe was involved with trade talks between the two Koreas in the mid-2000s. In 2004, he attended the opening of the Kaesong Industrial Region, a joint venture of the two nations.

South Korea's Ministry of Unification told both Reuters and BBC it was monitoring the situation but Choe has not been seen publicly since December. Back in April, South Korea's National Intelligence Service said executions had been ordered for fifteen officials including a "forestry official". Choe Yong-gon was not mentioned by name, nor is it known now if the report was referring to Choe.

Yonhap has attributed roughly 70 executions of officials to Kim Jong-un's rule which began after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in December 2011.


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