Left Menu
Development News Edition

Hundreds of North Korean public execution sites identified - survey

Reuters | Updated: 10-06-2019 21:38 IST | Created: 10-06-2019 21:30 IST
Hundreds of North Korean public execution sites identified - survey
Image Credit: Pixabay

North Korea conducts public executions to incite fear among the public, a rights group said on Tuesday in a report pinpointing at least 323 sites used by the government for capital punishment. The report by the Seoul-based Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) is the result of four years of research and interviews with more than 600 North Korean defectors living outside the country.

"Public executions are to remind people of particular policy positions that the state has," said TJWG research director Sarah A. Son. "But the second and more powerful reason is it instils a culture of fear among ordinary people." Purged members of the elite have been among those executed in public, such as leader Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in 2013. But the most common charges levelled against the condemned ranged from "stealing copper and livestock" to, less commonly, "anti-state" activities and illegally crossing into China, the group said.

The survey of 610 North Korean defectors living in South Korea, included 19 reports of more than 10 people being executed at the same time. Crowds, often of hundreds of people, and sometimes a 1,000 or more, would gather. The youngest person to witness a public execution was 7 years old, the group said.

The group found that 35 reports of public executions came from one particular river bank, with executions taking place at the unidentified location every decade since 1960s. Six of the executions were by hanging and 29 by firing squad, the group said. Reuters was unable to independently confirm any of the accounts in the report. The group said 83 percent of a sample of 84 surveyed people had witnessed a public execution at some time, but it did not give specific data on how common such executions may be.

Nor did it say if they were getting more or less frequent. The group warned that the survey sample based on the testimony of defectors, was not necessarily representative. For example, a disproportionate number of the respondents come from northern provinces with the greatest access to the Chinese border for people trying to defect. Some reports of executions in North Korea have turned out to be untrue, with officials who had been reported as being executed later reappearing.

This month, there have been media reports about the execution of officials involved in nuclear talks with the United States, which collapsed in February at a summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump last week appeared to cast doubt on the news reports about the executions. "I don't know if the reports are correct," Trump said. "They like to blame Kim Jong Un immediately." North Korean state media has made no comment.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...

Videos

Latest News

Ecuador says China agrees to supervision of fishing fleet near Galapagos

Ecuador said on Wednesday that China has agreed to allow supervision of its fishing vessels near the Galapagos Islands, after their presence spurred concerns about possible environmental impacts on the ecologically sensitive region. The And...

Brazil's court rules government must protect tribes from coronavirus

Brazils Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that President Jair Bolsonaros government must adopt measures to stop the spread of novel coronavirus to the countrys vulnerable indigenous communities. A majority of the justices voted to give the g...

White House' Meadows does not expect Trump to give Republican nomination address from Oval Office

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Tuesday he does not expect President Trump to accept the Republican Partys presidential nomination in a speech from the White House Oval Office.In an interview with CNN, Meadows said it would be ...

Soccer-Below-strength Man United move into Europa League last eight

Former Europa League winners Manchester United booked a quarter-final spot in the tournament after their second-string side laboured to a 2-1 home win over LASK Linz on Wednesday to seal a 7-1 aggregate rout of the Austrian side.Uniteds rew...

Give Feedback