Since 2000, approximately 1,382 North Korean
residents have been publicly executed , according to
a recent white paper on human rights in North Korea.
According to the report, published by the Korean Institute for National Unification
(KINU), this Wednesday, 1,382 North Koreans were publicly executed between 2000
and 2014. This figure is an estimate based on in-depth personal interviews with
North Korean escapees who came to South Korea between 2008 and 2014, at a rate
of approximately 200-250 defectors per year.
The white paper further revealed that the
number of public executions has been gradually decreasing each year after
peaking at 161 people in 2008 and then dropping to 160 people in 2009.
In the Kim Jong Un era, 21 people were
publicly executed in 2012; 82 in 2013. These figures were confirmed by witnesses. According to these witness testimonies, public
executions for watching or distributing South Korean media and drug smuggling
have been particularly numerable in recent years.
Since 1996, KINU has been publishing an
annual version of this report in Korean and English. This year’s statistics
regarding public executions were based on testimonies of 221 North Korean defectors, selected based on
demographics and background, of the total 1,396 escapees who came to South Korea last