North Korea has dismissed the official responsible for the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and executed him, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported, citing unconfirmed reports from an unidentified North Korean defector.
Park In Young—the name's spelling may be subject to changes depending on the translation and transcriptions—was the chief of North Korea’s Bureau 131, a division of the ruling party’s Central Committee charged with the supervision of military facilities such as the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test facility and the Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
The motive for the alleged exceution remains unclear. Asahi’s report mentions two potential reasons. One could be a delay in the execution of North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, which happened on September 3 but was originally planned for the spring and was postponed due to delays in a tunnel construction.
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Another reason may be that Park was held responsible for the collapse of a tunnel that, according to the Asahi TV channel sources, occurred in October and caused the death of around 200 people—a report North Korea vehemently denied.
The Asahi Shimbun also previously reported that North Korean soldiers and their families were treated in a military hospital for radiation exposure following the September hydrogen bomb test at the facility.
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