North Korea has reportedly executed its vice premier for voicing opposition to the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Un.
Choe Yong-Gon, the vice finance minister of South Korea, was said to have been killed by firing squad in May this year after he spoke out against Kim Jong-Un’s forestry policies.
An anonymous source made the claims to a South Korean intelligence agency.
While the 63-year-old’s death is yet to be verified, his name has not been mentioned in North Korea state media since October last year.
Choe has also not been spotted in public since December last year, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry – which deals with all ties with their neighbouring country.
The ministry said it was “closely monitoring the possibility of any changes in Choe’s circumstances”.
He was appointed as one of seven vice premiers in June last year, with his appointment seen as an attempt by Kim Jong-Un to retain close ties with South Korea.
If his death is confirmed he would be the second high-level execution in the notoriously secretive North Korea this year.
In April, defence minister Hyon Yong-Choi was brutally executed by anti-aircraft fire after he apparently fell asleep during military rallies.
South Korea intelligence has also alleged that Kim Jong-Un ordered the execution of 15 officials in the first four months of 2015.