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Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 18:57

DPRK executes vice premier: Yonhap

By Reuters

DPRK executes vice premier: Yonhap
The DPRK's top delegate Choe Yong-gon (leftshakes hands with his ROK counterpart Bahk Byong-wonduring the 10th North-South Economic Cooperation Committee Meeting in Seoul, 10 July 2005. (AFP PHOTO/Ahn Young-joon/ POOL)

SEOUL - The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s vice premier was executed by firing squad this year after showing discontent with the policies of the country's leader Kim Jong-un, a media report from the Republic of Korea (ROK) said on Wednesday.

Yonhap News Agency cited an unnamed source as saying that the 63-year-old Choe Yong-gon, a former delegate for North-South cooperation, was executed, marking another death of a senior official in a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong-un took charge in late 2011.

The Yonhap report said Choe had expressed disagreement with Kim's forestry policies in May and had shown poor work performance. It provided no further details.

The ROK’s Unification Ministry, which handles the country's ties with the DPRK, said in a text message received by Reuters that Choe had not been spotted in public for about eight months, and that it was closely monitoring the situation.

The ROK’s National Intelligence Service declined to comment on the report to Reuters.

The ROK spy agency told lawmakers in May that the DPRK had executed its defense chief by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range.

Choe was appointed vice-premier last year, the DPRK’s state-run KCNA news agency reported previously.

Yonhap said the source also said the reclusive state had publicly executed a senior Workers' Party official in September.

Choe had worked on inter-Korean affairs in 2000s, leading the North's delegation in joint economic cooperation committees with the ROK between 2003 and 2005.

He attended the 2004 opening ceremony of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a factory park jointly run with Seoul that is the last remaining joint project of the two countries.

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