Ri Su-yong, believed to have been the main handler of North Korea’s former leader Kim Jong-il’s slush fund, has been executed, Japanese media reported Wednesday.
The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, citing multiple sources close to Pyongyang’s leadership, said that Ri’s execution was related to the recent purging of the communist country’s No. 2, Jang Song-thaek. Ri had been a close confidant of Jang.
Ri, who was named Pyongyang's ambassador to Bern in 1988, handled some $4 billion that Kim had stashed away during his tenure in Switzerland. He used the alternative name Ri Chol during his time there.
Since his return to North Korea in 2010, he had been in charge of attracting foreign capital.
The Japanese paper said that Ri may have had disagreements with Pyongyang’s current leader Kim Jong-un about how to deal with his father’s money.