The report also suggested that another official who tried to hide his travel history to China has been exiled to work on a country farm.
The United States on Thursday promised to support aid work in North Korea to combat the new coronavirus, voicing alarm at the ill-equipped state's susceptibility.
The United States has expressed deep concern about North Korea's vulnerability to the outbreak of a new virus and says it's ready to support efforts by USA and global aid organizations to contain the spread of the illness in the impoverished nation.
Harry Kazianis, director of Jorean Studies at the Center for National Interest is convinced the virus, formally known as COVID-19, has already reached North Korea.More news: Coronavirus infections surge on cruise ship in Japan
But there may yet be hope for the reportedly executed trade official, as news of officials being executed or punished in North Korea has been wrong in the past.
North Korea has entirely banned foreign tour groups, which come largely from China, according to a major tour operator.
"Just because there is no case of the new coronavirus in our country, we should not be too relieved, but have civil awareness and work together for prevention", he said, according to Reuters. It has also mobilised some 30,000 health workers to monitor residents to prevent the spread of the virus.
Kee Park, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School who has made multiple humanitarian trips to the impoverished country, said it would struggle to manage an outbreak.More news: Barclays boss facing FCA investigation over ties to Epstein
He told CNN: "North Korea has such a limited supply of basic medicine that public health officials need to focus on preventative medicine".
The State Department statement comes as North Korea scrambles to strengthen quarantine and preventive measures following an explosion of infections in China that killed hundreds and sickened tens of thousands.
An exemption allowing for a bank transfer to the IFRC country office in North Korea "is essential as a life-saving intervention", he added. The sanctions were imposed over the country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which were developed in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
He also instituted military law to keep people in isolation during the quarantine period.More news: Google accidentally posts Android 11 dev preview page, then takes it down