SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea executed a former Cabinet official who was in charge of talks with South Korea, a news report said Tuesday, the latest reported death sentence for a North Korean official over policy failures.
Kwon Ho Ung, Pyongyang's chief delegate from 2004 to 2007 for ministerial talks with the South's then liberal government, was executed by firing squad, Seoul's mass-circulation Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said, citing an unidentified source in Beijing knowledgeable about the North.
Calls to South Korea's intelligence agency and the Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, seeking comment went unanswered.
The reported execution comes as tensions between the two Koreas simmer over the March sinking of a South Korean warship that has been blamed on North Korea. North Korea has denied involvement in the sinking, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.