The reaction from some Korea watchers: a collective shrug.
Kim Yong Chol, the Workers' Party leader, has seemed to disappear from state news media in recent weeks.
Kim Yong Chol had met with Trump at the White House before the Hanoi summit in February to arrange details of the negotiations.
Kim Yong-chol, a senior who also attempted to thrash out a deal with the U.S., was sent to a forced labour camp.
The report added that the North Korea president is on a "purge" spree to deflect attention from the internal discontent and domestic turmoil.
Asked about the report, a spokesperson at South Korea's presidential office cautioned against "hasty conclusions".
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While North Korea hasn't used its propaganda services to comment, the report in the conservative Chosun Ilbo daily could be true. That's especially true of actions surrounding the country's secretive leadership.
Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attends wreath-laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam, on March 2, 2019.
The last execution came in 2013.
And Kim Song Hye, who was in charge of the working-level discussion with Kim Hyok Chol, was sent to a political prisoner camp.
-North Korea summit in February, holding them responsible for its collapse, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday. She appeared in a public television performance a short time later.
The most (in) famous of these was the alleged death of singer Hyon Song-wol. Instead, the summit ended earlier than expected, with the signing ceremony and a planned working lunch scrapped.
Kim Hyok Chol, who was involved in the pre-summit talks while serving on North Korea's powerful State Affairs Commission, and the ministry officials were accused of being USA "spies" who betrayed Kim Jong Un, according to the report.
For months, U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim have engaged in failed negotiations towards the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions and the threat of war. As a outcome, Kim and Trump met without a draft agreement, as the negotiators from both sides left it to their leaders to sort out the thorniest problems that have bedevilled negotiations for decades.
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"It was about the sanctions", Trump said.
North Korean propaganda outlets did not immediately comment on the story on Friday.
"In North Korea when something like that happens it's a different order of problem because the leader is infallible and nothing can ever go wrong", says Aidan Foster-Carter, a veteran, British-based Korea watcher.
Outside analysts have since wondered whether Kim's negotiating team had failed to prepare him for such a breakdown in the talks or considered how Kim might react. "We are not aware of Kim Yo-jong's track record since the Hanoi meeting", said a South Korean government official.
The idea was rejected by the United States which demanded a comprehensive roadmap for denuclearisation. "I am still not sure I believe them, but they are getting awfully specific".
Kim also ordered the execution of Ri Yong-jin, an education official, for falling asleep at a meeting led by the tyrant.
Referring to commitments by Trump and Kim at the first summit past year to establish a new era of relations, the statement for the North said, "All the above clearly shows that the June 12 ..." They were said to have been detained in a camp for political prisoners, the newspaper said.
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