North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un reportedly executed four senior communist officials via firing squad following his failed meeting with President Donald Trump in Vietnam, according to a report from the Japanese news agency Asia Press on Wednesday.
The agency spoke with a North Korean trade official who heard the rumor about the executions, reportedly ordered by Kim Jong-un after he failed to secure the lifting of sanctions following his meeting with President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February. The official also claimed that members of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the Korean People’s Army were forced to watch the executions.
The meeting, convened amid ongoing peace negotiations between the two countries, was eventually cut short after the two sides failed to reach an agreement about lifting sanctions in exchange for the halting and eventual dismantlement of the country’s aggressive nuclear program.
“Chairman Kim and myself, we want to do the right deal,” Trump said at the time. “Speed is not important. What’s important is that we do the right deal.”
When asked whether he was serious about denuclearizing his country, Kim told reporters: “If I weren’t willing to do that, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Although the report cannot be independently verified, the 35-year-old has executed countless communist officials since seizing power in 2012, including his own uncle. The regime also routinely executes those deemed insufficiently loyal to it or those charged with “crimes” such as practicing Christianity or watching foreign films.
Despite the Kim regime’s atrocious human rights record, President Donald Trump has publicly displayed a warm attitude towards the young dictator, revealing they have gotten to know each other very well and talking up a potentially prosperous economic future for the communist state.
“Kim is a person I’ve gotten to know very well, and respect and hopefully, and I really believe over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen,” he said following the last summit. “I think North Korea has tremendous potential.”
On Wednesday, Kim arrived in the Russian city of Vladivostok to hold bilateral talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who has long been a steadfast ally of the communist regime since the days of Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il.
“I came to Russia with the warm sentiments of our people I hope that this visit will be successful and useful,” Kim said. “I hope that during negotiations with President Putin I will be able to discuss issues of the settlement on the Korean Peninsula and the development of our bilateral relations in detail.”