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Top North Korea Official Reportedly Appears In Public, Despite Purge Report

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

North Korean state media say a top aide to leader Kim Jong Un has appeared in public, despite a widely repeated South Korean report that he had been sent to a labor camp after a failed summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Kim Jong Chol was Kim Jong Un's top negotiator in talks with Washington ahead of February's summit in Vietnam, which ended prematurely with no agreement.

Last week, a South Korean newspaper reported that he had been purged while another top official, special envoy to the U.S. Kim Hyok Chol, had been executed over the failure.

But official North Korean news agency KCNA on June 3 reported that Kim Jong Chol attended a dance performance with Kim Jong Un a day earlier. Kim Hyok Chol was not listed among the attendees.

North Korea has previously executed officials who were made scapegoats for high-profile political blunders.

However, reports of purges have turned out to be inaccurate in the past.

Due to the secretive nature of the North Korean state, it is difficult to confirm or reject them.

With reporting by dpa and AP