A Boy’s Account of a Public Execution at a Detention Settlement

Kang Chul Hwan, Child Prisoner of the North Korea Gulag  |  2005-11-09 15:58
One day, the school was closed without any explanation. My sister and I were so delighted, and we slept the whole morning. When we woke up around three o’clock in the afternoon, I remembered hearing about three defectors. When my father and uncle returned home that night, I asked them what happened to the defectors. They said nothing.

The next day, one of the boys from our school told us about what he saw at the riverside the previous day:

There were several thousand people at the riverside. The settlement superintendent read something and then the security officers dragged three men, who could not sustain themselves and were almost dead, and tied them around three poles. They were all gagged and could not say anything. There were nine snipers, three snipers for each prisoner. Then, there was an order, “Fire!” and “bang, bang, bang.” They shot at them three times. The executioner kicked the bodies to confirm that they were dead, rolled them up with straw mats and loaded them onto a truck that sped away. All my friends listening to him were so frightened and I was so shocked. The boy continued, “They say the snipers are so good that three of them hit the same spot making the bullet hole large. Which would be more painful, to be hit in the head or breast?”
 
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