Monday, April 05, 2010

Two, not just one, North Korean officials publicly executed

North Korea executed two senior economic officials last month — not just Pak Nam-gi, former head of planning and economy at the Workers’ Party, as previously reported — over a botched currency revamp that forced markets to close temporarily and fueled social tensions, a media outlet that specializes in the North reported.

North Korea redenominated the won in December as part of efforts to fight inflation and reassert control over its burgeoning market economy. That reportedly sparked unrest after many North Koreans were stuck with piles of worthless bills.

The two officials were executed by firing squad on March 12 at a stadium in Pyongyang before an audience of members of the ruling Workers Party and finance officials, the Seoul-based Daily NK reported, citing a source in Pyongyang it did not identify.

The newspaper’s source said, “Immediately before the execution, the judge is said to have criticized Pak as ‘a historical traitor who trapped the people in misery with this re-denomination.’”

The report also said Yun Ki-jong, the cabinet’s former finance director, has returned to the government to deal with the economic crisis since Pak’s execution.

[Daily NK]

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