SEOUL: North Korea has executed a former railways minister following a deadly explosion at a train station in 2004, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said on Monday.
It quoted a Seoul government official as saying the execution of Kim Yong-Sam was apparently in connection with the massive blast at Ryongchon station in the northwest.
The explosion happened several hours after leader Kim Jong-Il had passed through the station in a special train on his return from a visit to China, fuelling speculation of an assassination attempt.
The North said at the time that ammonium nitrate fertiliser being shunted at the station had accidentally hit an electrical cable, triggering a blast that killed some 160 people and injured 1,300.
Kim Yong-Sam, who had taken over the portfolio in 1998, was last mentioned by official media in 2008.
A media report last year also said he had been executed, but cited pilfering of scrap metal from trains as the reason.
The official quoted by Yonhap spoke on condition of anonymity and did not say when ex-minister Kim was executed or what specifically he was accused of.
The North has previously executed senior officials blamed for policy failures.
Pak Nam-Ki, former head of the ruling party's planning and finance department, was reportedly executed in March last year to take the blame for a bungled currency revaluation in 2009.
North Korea is fucked up seriously, time for USA to step in? haha no Im just kidding USA, just kidding.