South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported that Ri Yong-Jin was a senior official at the education department and Hwang Min was the country’s agricultural minister, citing a source with knowledge of North Korea.
Both were publicly executed earlier this month “on a special order from Kim Jong-Un” at a military academy in Pyongyang, the source said.
Mr Ri “dozed off during a meeting presided over by Kim”, the source said.
“He was arrested on site and intensively questioned by the state security ministry. He was executed after other charges, such as corruption, were found during the probe.”
On Mr Hwang, the source said: “I understand he was executed because policy proposals he had pushed for were seen as a direct challenge to the Kim Jong-Un leadership.”
Kim Jong-Un took power in the secretive country after the death of his father Kim Jong-II in 2011 and he has used purges and executions of his top officials to strengthen his power.
The reports of these executions could not be verified and South Korea’s Unification Ministry – which usually handles North Korea-related matters – has not commented.
North Korea rarely announces or confirms its executions and some previous media reports have later been proved incorrect.
But it did confirm the execution of Kim’s uncle and the second-most powerful man in the country, Jang Song Thaek, in 2012 for factionalism and crimes damaging to the economy.