Secondo il quotidiano della Corea del Sud, Chosun Ilbo, l’esecuzione di Kim Hyok Chol, rappresentante speciale per gli affari americani, sarebbe avvenuta a marzo all’aeroporto Mirim. Kim Yong Chol, potentissimo ex capo dell’intelligence e braccio destro di Kim, inviato in un campo di prigionia
BEIJING – Kim Jong-un’s special envoy for nuclear negotiations with the United States. The right arm of the dictator sent to a re-education camp. Other officers killed or sent to forced labor. The failure of the Hanoi summit with Donald Trump, which ended in February with a resounding stalemate, would have pushed the North Korean dictator to a violent purge of diplomacy and army leadership.
The conditional, however, is mandatory, given that to reveal the details to the South Korean newspaper Chosun is a single anonymous source “a knowledge of the facts”. And that in the past the same newspaper has several times indiscretions on the dynamics of power in Pyongyang, including execution platoons, which later turned out to be false or inaccurate. Both the Washington and Seoul governments have said they have no information on the matter at the moment, avoiding comments.
According to Chosun Ilbo, the execution of Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s special representative for American affairs, took place in March with Pyramyang’s Mirim. Along with him, efforts and justice also four other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The accusation against them is the real accusation of not having understood Trump’s intentions.
In Hanoi, the American president rejected the North Korean proposal to lighten the sanctions in exchange for the dismantling of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, the only one of the regime, urging on other nuclear and missile structures, finally deciding to leave the table before time.
After the summit, Pyongyang filtered various rumors of Kim’s revenge on his negotiators. For Kim Hyok Chol, who disappeared from official appointments, he was supposed to be imprisoned in one of the regime’s notorious re-education camps, but not execution. According to the source of Chosun Ilbo, along with him the interpreter of Hanoi would also have been killed, “guilty” of not having made a duty of the last second made by Kim a Trump, before they made the negotiation.
But the biggest piece of the regime is involved in today’s indiscretion is Kim Yong Chol, powerful former intelligence chief and right arm of Kim, counterpart of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and considered a nuclear “hawk”. In March, according to a South Korean parliamentarian, he had been deprived of his role within the Party, now Chosun Ilbo adds that he ended up in a labor camp.
The hypothesis that Kim is looking for scapegoats for the failure of Hanoi is likely. This week the regime of Rodong Sinmun has published a fiery editorial against “due officials”, which will address “the harsh judgment of the revolution”. However, at the moment it is difficult to understand how reliable the source of the South Korean newspaper is. It does not seem, for example, that measures have been taken against the regime.
With Kim Jong-un the movements within the hierarchies have become much more frequent, and not necessarily violent. Above all, the leading role assumed by Deputy Minister Choe Son Hui is the sign of a softer or harder line towards the United States. The fact remains that at this time the negotiations with Trump are deadlocked and the regime does not seem to have any idea how to unlock them. The return to missile tests, due in recent weeks, is an attempt to put pressure on the White House, but it also signals the risk of a new escalation.