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North Korea official executed

North Korea has executed a former cabinet official who was in charge of talks with South Korea, a news report said yesterday.

It is the latest reported death sentence for an official over policy failures. Kwon Ho Ung, Pyongyang's chief delegate from 2004 to 2007 for talks with the South, was executed by firing squad, according to a Seoul newspaper.

The news comes as tensions between the two countries simmer over the sinking in March of a South Korean warship, blamed on North Korea.

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