U.S. checking reports of North Korean envoy's execution: Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacts during a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at Villa Borsig guest house in Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States is attempting to check on reports that a senior North Korean official involved in Pyongyang’s non-proliferation talks with Washington has been executed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

“We’ve seen the reporting to which you are referring,” Pompeo told a news conference in Berlin in answer to a reporter’s question. “We’re doing our best to check it out. I don’t have anything else to add to that today.”

Earlier on Friday, a South Korean newspaper reported that nuclear envoy Kim Hyok Choi had been executed as part of a purge of officials who steered negotiations for a failed summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom, writing by Thomas Escritt, editing by Riham Alkousaa