Asia

South Korea says top North Korean official executed

  • A man watches a TV screen showing a file image of Kim Yong Jin, second from left, a vice premier on education affairs in North Korea's cabinet, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. North Korea has executed a vice premier and banished two other top officials to rural areas for re-education, South Korean officials said Wednesday. The letters read " North Korea has executed Kim Yong Jin". (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    A man watches a TV screen showing a file image of Kim Yong Jin, second from left, a vice premier on education affairs in North Korea's cabinet, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. North Korea has executed a vice premier and banished two other top officials to rural areas for re-education, South Korean officials said Wednesday. The letters read " North Korea has executed Kim Yong Jin". (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • People watch a TV screen showing a file image of Kim Yong Jin, center, a vice premier on education affairs in North Korea's cabinet, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. North Korea has executed a vice premier and banished two other top officials to rural areas for re-education, South Korean officials said Wednesday. The letters read " North Korea has executed Kim Yong Jin and banished Kim Yong Chol and Choe Hwi. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    People watch a TV screen showing a file image of Kim Yong Jin, center, a vice premier on education affairs in North Korea's cabinet, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. North Korea has executed a vice premier and banished two other top officials to rural areas for re-education, South Korean officials said Wednesday. The letters read " North Korea has executed Kim Yong Jin and banished Kim Yong Chol and Choe Hwi. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

South Korea says North Korea has executed a top education official and banished two other officials to rural areas for re-education.

If confirmed, they would be the latest in a series of killings, purges and dismissals carried out since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took power in late 2011.

The South Korean government has a spotty record on reporting developments in reclusive North Korea.

In May, a former North Korean military chief, who Seoul said had been executed, was found to be alive and holding several new senior-level posts.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said Wednesday that Kim Yong Jin, a vice premier in North Korea's cabinet, had been executed.

Ministry officials gave no further details, such as why he was killed or how it obtained the information.