Dubious Report About North Korean Executions

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Dubious Report About North Korean Executions

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Earlier reports about executed North Korea officials were proved false when named individuals showed up alive and well — why it’s best to take these and other reports about the DPRK with a grain of salt unless credible information corroborates them.

Pyongyang has been wrongfully demonized by the West throughout its post-WW II history — because of its sovereign independence, not bending to unacceptable US-led Western demands.

According to a report last Thursday by South Korea’s right-wing Chosun Ilbo, one of its leading broadsheets, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un ordered the execution of officials involved in failed summit talks with Trump.

Senior North Korean official Kim Hyok-chol was named, Pyongyang’s lead negotiator in talks with Trump and Pompeo.

Citing an unnamed source, the Chosun IIbo claimed Kim Hyok-chol and four other DPRK officials were executed by firing squad in March, saying:

“He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping US intentions.”

Did a purge actually occur? A Thursday commentary in North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun warned about what it called “two-faced” officials,” adding:

“It is an anti-party, anti-revolutionary act to pretend to be revering the leader in front of him when you actually dream of something else.”

“There are traitors and turncoats who only memorize words of loyalty toward the Leader and even change according to the trend of the time.” 

Were the above remarks related to the alleged execution of North Korean officials or something else?

Kim and other DPRK officials agreed to talks with Trump and his team with eyes wide open, well aware of longstanding US duplicity, pledging one thing, doing something entirely different, betraying Pyongyang time and again.

They likely expected little or nothing different this time, but engaged with Trump as a show of good faith, wanting bilateral tensions deescalated, at the same time hoping for something positive, especially sanctions relief, not forthcoming.

Pompeo and Bolton sabotaged talks, making unacceptable demands in return for empty promises. They’re to blame for failed talks, not Kim Jong-un, Kim Hyok-chol, or other North Korean officials, the blame entirely on the US side.

According to Korea Risk Group CEO Chad O’Carroll via Twitter: “Source told me this week that Kim Hyok Chol had been seen at the foreign ministry recently in Pyongyang” — with no further elaboration.

Western media reports differed on his fate. The NYT accepted the execution report, saying he’s “the latest example of how a senior North Korean official’s political fortune is made or broken at the whims of Kim Jong-un,” adding: He “was executed by firing squad in March, citing the Chosun Ilbo.

Pompeo reportedly said he knows nothing about it. The neocon/CIA house organ Washington Post reported that “officials and diplomats from the United States to Asia, many of whom were not authorized to give their names, said that they had no knowledge of the story, or expressed caution and even outright skepticism about it,” adding:

“South Korean media (have) a spotty track record…on reporting (about DPRK) purges and state-ordered killings…”

Neither the Trump regime or Seoul confirmed the alleged executions. An unnamed Western diplomat said he’s “very skeptical” about the report.

According to WaPo, the “Chosun IIbo earlier reported a number of sensational stories about North Korea that later proved to be unfounded.”

On Friday, head of South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee Lee Hye-hoon said he heard contradictory reports about Kim Hyok-chol, adding no evidence suggests he was purged or executed.

Without it, the South Korean broadsheet report lacks credibility. It makes little sense. 

Why would Pyongyang punish its officials for Trump regime bad faith? Talks failed because of Pompeo/Bolton duplicity, sabotaging them to assure failure.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.