Purged? Not purged. Leading North Korean official reemerges in public

North Korea's Kim Jong Un toured multiple plants in the country the Rodong Sinmun reported Saturday and Sunday

In the images released by KCNA, Kim Yo-Jong is pictured sitting in the box to the right of Kim Jong-Un's wife, Ri Sol-Ju, who in turn is seated on the left of her husband.

Kim served as a key interlocutor in recent DPRK-U.S. nuclear negotiations, visiting the White House in June 2018 and January 2019 ahead of the first and second summits between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's former top nuclear envoy, Kim Yong Chol, accompanied leader Kim Jong Un to an art performance, state news agency KCNA said on Monday, signaling that the former spymaster is alive and remains a force in the power structure.

A report by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency named Kim Yong-chol among the concert-goers. Some previous South Korean reports of North Korean purges and executions have later proved inaccurate.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has stuck to a policy of engagement and negotiation with North Korea since his election in 2017.

But Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea's special envoy to the U.S., was not seen at the event.

Chang said it wouldn't make sense for Kim Jong Un to execute Kim Hyok Chol when Kim Yong Chol, the more senior official, would be seen as more responsible for the failure in Hanoi. The ministry said the return of Kim Yong Chol after a prolonged absence could mean he is retaining his position as vice chairman of inter-Korea affairs of the Workers' Party.


"[The summit] went wrong because it was ill-conceived and ill-prepared from the get-go by President Trump and Kim Jong-Un".

The Hanoi summit ended without producing a deal as Kim and Trump failed to find common ground over the scope of Pyongyang's denuclearisation steps and Washington's sanctions relief.

North Korea warned the United States that agreements made between the two countries' leaders in Singapore previous year could be at risk, blaming the United States for undue pressure to denuclearize, state news agency KCNA said on Tuesday.

Chosun Ilbo reported last week that he had been executed after the summit collapsed for "betraying the supreme leader".

The media coverage is believed to be aimed at urging North Koreans to rebuild the economy by themselves as there is no prospect that worldwide sanctions will be lifted anytime soon.

"North Korea's launch of short-range ballistic missiles at the beginning of May, which violated relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, is extremely regrettable", Iwaya added at the gathering, which is known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Japan has also been at odds with the United States over how to address North Korea's recent launches of short-range missiles, raising fears that Abe's government is not necessarily working in tandem with the USA administration of President Donald Trump.

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