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.