With the 63rd anniversary of the Chosun (North Korea) Workers’ Party approaching on October 10th, “public executions” have continuously been taking place in North Korea.
After publicly executing four people on the 29th of September, five women were executed in Hoiryeong, North Hamkyung Province on the 7th. Executions are also expected to take place in Musan and Onsung, raising speculations that the North is attempting to regulate its citizens.
An inside source in North Hamkyung Province said in a phone conversation with the Daily NK on the 9th, “In Hoiryeong’s Public Stadium at 3 in the afternoon on the 7th, each organization, enterprise office, and those in the People’s Units were mobilized and after a public trial, five women were shot.”
The source explained, “Public trials and executions were directly led by the Chief of the Hoiryeong People’s Safety Agency. Women who were publicly executed had all been captured for the charge of prostitution (the crime of assisting the border-crossing of defectors).”
He added, “Usually, such crimes are punishable by three to five years of reeducation camps, so the people in Hoiryeong were agitated by the executions.”
When scenes of executions from March 1st and 2nd in 2005 in Hoiryeong were broadcast on Japanese N-TV in April of that year, the North curbed the public executions, concerned over the criticisms of international society. With these scenes being broadcast all over the world, the North Korean Human Rights Resolution was adopted in the United Nations General Assembly that year and was raised as the main target of international interest.
The source emphasized, “The executions did not cease in Hoiryeong, but will take place in all the cities along the border area. At the executions on the 7th, the Hoiryeong People’s Safety Agency stated that shootings will soon take place in Musan and in Onsung.”
He also added, “According to rumors, the General (Kim Jong Il) gave the order to ‘make gunfire sound again,’ so the citizens have been nervous.”
In response to the question, “Are the recent executions related to the rumors of Kim Jong Il’s illness?” the source said, “Rumors of his sickness have been spreading among the citizens, but most people have been too busy harvesting to take notice.”
The source also said, “However, Hoiryeong citizens have been complaining about the executions saying, that the situation was much worse in 10 years ago during the March of the Tribulation than now, the great famine ear, so people cannot understand why the authorities need to make a gunfire sound now.”