Thursday, October 07, 2010

Public Executions on the Rise in North Korea

North Korea has increased public executions, apparently in a bid to tighten controls amid the designation of North Korean leader's son Kim Jong-un as his father's heir. According to data released on Tuesday by Grand National Party lawmaker Yoon Sang-hyun, the regime publicly executed at least 22 people in the first half of this year.

According to the data, the regime executed 10 people, including two women, on charges of robbery, rape and prostitution, all together in Pyongyang in December 2009. It also publicly executed the platoon leader of the border garrison on charges of narcotics smuggling and human trafficking the same month.

A noncom officer of the border garrison was executed in January for having aided and abetted the defection of a family and two Chinese Koreans for having leaked confidential information in February.

The figures are far larger than those in previous reports published by Amnesty International, where it said the North publicly executed at least 23 people between 1970 and 1992 and "at least seven" in 2009.

[Chosun Ilbo]

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