The most important conclusion we can draw from reports that have executed North Korea's leading nuclear negotiator and four State Department officials in March is this: Kim Jong Un is not the trusted, trustworthy negotiator President Trump has identified for him
According to the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo was assigned a senior adjutant of leader Kim Jong Un, "to a labor and re-education camp," and two lower-ranking officials were detained.
The arrest of Adjutant Kim Yong Chol, who led Pyonyang's deployment for two Trump Kim summits in Washington, had been known for more than a month, but many are wondering if Kim Hyok Chol, the nuclear weapons negotiator, is actually from He was killed by a firing squad at an airport in the north.
Regardless of the accuracy of the coverage of Chosun Ilbo ̵
These increasingly obvious turmoil undermines Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in's view that Kim can negotiate in good faith on a range of issues, from denuclearization to conflict. Korean reconciliation.
The article by Chosun Ilbo is based on a single "source" that has not been identified in any way. Previous South Korean reports of executions in the north, including a 2013 report by Chosun Ilbo have indeed proved untrue. In addition, the Friday article of the conservative paper may have intended to embarrass the "progressive" president of the South, Moon.
Reuters cites an unidentified "diplomatic source" in relation to the five people, stating "There was no evidence that they were executed."
"Seems like a fake message," a White House official quoted Harry Kazianis of the Washington DC Center for the National Interest in the Execution Report.
Although there should be skepticism, given the rhetoric of Rodong Sinmun the official newspaper of the Labor Party of the North, in a comment on Thursday it is still plausible warning against "anti-party" and "anti-revolutionary" elements, harsh language, which is usually reserved for enemies of the regime.
The Chosun Ilbo reported that these words last occurred in 2 013, at the time of the execution of Jang Song Thaek, the broker married the aunt of Kim Jong Un.
However, skepticism about a message leaves a bigger mark on the Pyongyang regime. Kim Hyok Chol, like Kim Yong Chol, who is described as the "right man" of Kim Jong Un, has disappeared from view. Kim Yong Chol delivered a letter to Trump in the Oval Office within two hours Trump met a few days before the June summit in Singapore and then called him "the second most powerful man in North Korea."
The disappearance of senior figures contradicts claims that the North Korean system is now stable. There was some evidence that the historic first summit meeting between Trump and Kim in June last year raised the expectations of both the North Korean elite and the general public that there is a positive change in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Trump's four-minute video about the North The bright future shown to Kim in Singapore may have done more than the observers once suggested. It is now clear that the rich and poor North Koreans were deeply disappointed in the failure of talks with Trump.
The Chosun Ilbo reported on Friday – and this feels credible – that Kim Jong Un has ordered the purges to be internal turmoil and growing public discontent over the failed summit.
Even before Hanoi there was evidence of an anti-Kim feeling. On February 22, a few days before this meeting, activists invaded the Northern Embassy in Madrid, and there is a suspicion that the robbers, members of the Free Joseon activist group, had help from inside, possibly from Pyongyang officials. If the group had secret supporters, regime-critical elements would be stronger than many believe. Incidentally, Kim Hyok Chol served as Ambassador to Spain before becoming a nuclear negotiator.
Kim Jong Un executed perhaps 180 high-ranking officials – and perhaps 500 juniors – when he cemented power following the surprise death of his father and his predecessor, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011. Some may argue that the murder of Only five diplomats at this time can not be a destabilizing factor, throwing away old figures and replacing them with those who are considered loyal. In times of rising expectations and after a phase of supposed political consolidation, these executions therefore look different.
Cleansing – and especially killing – creates enemies. Among other things, they can motivate regime figures to act. David Maxwell, who has spent five missions with the US Army in Korea and is now at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, noted Friday morning that US forces in Korea are always concerned about "Mr. X Scenario ": An insider kills a Kim leader because he feels threatened by purges and thinks he might be next on the list.
Kim Hyok Chol was accused of "spying for the United States because he reported badly about the negotiations to properly understand the intentions of the United States. "Kim's rulers are notorious for killing others to try to blame them for their own mistakes, but Kim Jong Un has given up mass bleeding in recent years. Regardless of whether the five poor officials are dead or just detained, Kim has developed a potentially dangerous dynamic, and that is a sure sign that he felt particularly insecure.
And when Kim leaders feel insecure, nothing good ever happens.