I believe this is more propaganda designed to further demonize Kim Jung-un for refusing to humbly accept the submission of his country to the neoliberal creed.
Michael McFaul might be considered the “Russia reset” guy during the Obama administration. He helped found the Moscow Carnegie Center and sits on the board of trustees at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an organization long ago dedicated to manipulating public opinion and engineering consent for the establishment agenda.
Of course, there is a little direct evidence Kim Hyok Chol was executed. The report came from South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper. It is described as a “rightwing” newspaper. There doesn’t seem to be any secondary confirmation of this supposed execution.
In the US, however, propaganda doesn’t need evidence. The public has been trained to accept as unvarnished truth just about anything the government and its propaganda media put out, no matter how outrageous (e.g. Russian bots elected Trump).
The message here is that the unverified execution of Mr. Hyok Chol was in response to his inability to reach a deal with the Americans.
This sidelines the fact that Sec. State Pompeo is not interested in real negotiations and demands North Korea submit to the exceptional and indispensable nation’s demands.
Kim undoubtedly remembers what happened to Gaddafi when he gave up his nuclear weapons program.