North Korea has purged its Vice-Foreign Minister? (UPDATED)

 North Korea has purged Kung Sok-ung its  Vice-Foreign Minister as punishment for the recent defection of the nuclear-armed country’s deputy ambassador to Britain, South Korean media reported on Wednesday 12th October.

The mass-circulation South Korean daily newspaper JoongAng Ilbo, quoting an anonymous source familiar with North Korean affairs, said that Mr Kung Sok-ung had been removed from his post and expelled from Pyongyang to a rural farming area with his family.

It said the purge was ordered by supreme leader Kim Jong Un following the defection of the North’s Deputy Ambassador to Britain Thae Yong-ho and his family to the South two months ago.


I strongly consider this information as false, as Kung Sok-ung is belonging to the inner circle of senior advisors of the Kim family due to his carrier in Middle East Affairs (he was an ambassador in Jordan in the 1990s) and to his role in the management of the Kim family funds (The Kim family maintained some close relationships with Middle East financial institutions). Therefore I don’t trust the source of the information. However, I consider that some people related to the MOFA were directly punished by Kim Jong-un.


This information was a fake, Kung Sok-ung was recently seen with the Russian ambassador to North Korea during a meeting at the Russian embassy in Pyongyang.

A smiling Kung Sok-ung taking the hands of Aleksander Timonin, the Russian ambassador to the DPRK (source: the Russian embassy in Pyongyang)

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