They could have just fired him.
A North Korean former Cabinet official in charge of diplomacy was executed after poor performance, according to a report from a South Korean newspaper.
The official, Kwon Ho Ung, was Pyongyang's chief delegate in charge of talks among the two sparring nations on the Korean peninsula.
Ho Ung was executed by firing squad apparently after the North Korean government found his talks among the Korean nations to be a failure.
Seoul's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported the incident, citing a source familiar with North Korean relations.
The execution was just the latest in a string of dramatic career moves for North Korean officials.
Daily NK, a Seoul-based news outlet, reported that the North executed two senior economic officials in March.
A top agricultural official was executed in the 1990s after a disastrous famine.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high since March when South Korea’s warship was sunk off the coast.
Recent reports leaked from the hermit state have mentioned outrage over the North’s decision to drastically devalue their currency, leaving citizens with stacks of worthless paper.
Read more: North Korea executes top official after poor diplomatic performance: report