Negotiator Kim Hyok-chol, special envoy to the United States in preparation for the Hanoi summit, would have been executed. After the failure of the summit of 27 and 28 February between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the American Donald Trump, the regime would kill Pyongyang's chief negotiator on the delicate nuclear dossier and four other officials. While the former right hand of the dictator, Kim Yong-chol, was sent to a re-education and work camp in Jagang province.
Kim Hyok-chol, counterpart of US special representative Stephen Biegun in the run-up to the summit, was executed at Mirim airport in March along with four other senior officials accused of espionage in favor of America: the same South Korean newspaper had already raised a month ago rumors - then unconfirmed - of a purge linked to the conclusion with a stalemate by the summit, stating that a diplomat from the North Korean embassy in Hanoi and three other foreign ministry officials had been executed by a firing squad under the eyes of senior representatives of the ruling party in Pyongyang. They were accused of being corrupted and of passing confidential information to the Americans during the pre-summit negotiations. According to the source, the purge would have been ordered by Kim in order to contain internal unrest and the growing public discontent over the failed summit.