The brutality of North Korea is rising at an alarming rate.
“The gunshots rang out in the fields and open fields… The brutal public executions still in the Kim Jong-un era”
TJWG unveils ‘Execution mapping report during the Kim Jong-un period’… CEO Young-Hwan Lee “Future tasks to identify and record the increasing number of ‘indoor executions'”
By By Moon Dong-hee – 2021.12.16 8:00 am
Statements about the places of execution in North Korea, and statements about the places of execution during the Kim Jong-un era. /Picture = Mapping of executions during the Kim Jong-un era: Captured report of North Korea’s response to international pressure
It is noteworthy that a report has been published that identifies and records places where there may be documents or evidence related to human rights violations, such as places of public executions and burials in North Korea . It was found that public executions were mainly carried out in open fields and fields during the reign of Chairman Kim Jong-un.
On the 15th, the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG), a human rights investigation and record organization, released the ‘Execution Mapping Report during the Kim Jong-un Period’, which was prepared based on the record of interviewing a total of 683 North Korean defectors for six years. This is an updated report of ‘Mapping for the Murdered: Execution and Dark Burial of the North Korean Government’ published in 2019.
TJWG said, “Spatial and geographic mapping of locations related to human rights violations makes it possible to capture and visualize important information or patterns that are not easily revealed by narrative testimony. Geospatial Geographic Information (GIS) technology is applied to the entire process, including information collection and analysis.”
The report contained 442 statements of executions and 30 testimonies of places where bodies were disposed of, including black burials and incineration. In particular, the report includes 27 testimonies about the places of execution during the Kim Jong-un era, including 23 statements about public executions.
The frequencies cited for charges imposed on those publicly executed include viewing and distributing South Korean video (7 cases), drug-related (5 cases), prostitution (5 cases), human trafficking (4 cases), and attempted murder or murder (3 cases). ), and obscene acts (3 cases).
In this regard, under the North Korean Criminal Code, the maximum sentence for prostitution (prostitution, Article 249) and obscenity (article 250 for obscenity) is less than five years of reform through labor. It is possible that North Korea executed an extra-legal example of violating the socialist lifestyle.
According to the report, 21 of the public execution statements were about shooting and 2 hanging.
The public execution of a large number of people in a large place is interpreted as an attempt to control the residents with a sense of fear through strong violence and prevent ideological relaxation.
In fact, witnesses agree that inhumane acts such as torturing the accused before execution or damaging the body after execution frequently occur.
The report also found that there were a number of instances of attempting to propagate Kim as a compassionate leader, claiming to forgive the accused, the report said. It seems that they are trying to build an image of a benevolent leader while controlling the residents through the reign of fear.
Comparison of a bundle of statements of the place of execution in Hyesan. /Picture = Mapping of executions during the Kim Jong-un era: Captured report of North Korea’s response to international pressure
However, it appears that North Korea is also trying to avoid criticism from the international community for leaking information related to public executions. Because of this, the group said that there is a tendency for indoor executions to increase.
TJWG said, “Under Kim Jong-un’s regime, the North Korean authorities are conscious of international criticism and are focused on preventing the leakage of news of the execution case to the outside world. said
Park A-young, a researcher at TJWG, said, “The findings suggest that the Kim Jong-un regime is paying more attention to strengthening international monitoring of the human rights situation.
He said, “Compared to the past, when frequent public executions were used to frighten the residents, it seems that the number of executions carried out with less exposure to the general public during the Kim Jong-un era has increased.” There is,” he emphasized.
In this regard, the newspaper reported earlier this month that North Korea had detected a movement to legally and administratively formalize indoor executions. At the time, the source said that the Ministry of Social Safety and Justice had instructed that all persons who imported and distributed South Korean (South Korean) content be executed indoors in the ‘additional rules for execution methods by law’. ( ▶Shortcut to related article: North Korea also published an addendum to ‘execution of information’ stating ‘indoor execution for information leakage’ )
The place used for the public trial in Hyesan, North Korea. /Picture = Mapping of executions during the Kim Jong-un era: Captured report of North Korea’s response to international pressure
Meanwhile, the group said that the new aspect of this report is that it selected Hyesan, Ryanggang Province, in the northeastern part of North Korea, and presented new data and in-depth analysis.
The report contained statements about 10 executions in Hyesan.
According to the report, public executions were mainly carried out on hills or open fields near the runway of Hyesan Airfield, far from the border with China and far from the center of Hyesan City. Although some stated that public executions appeared to have declined, the report said that secret executions appeared to continue.
The report also contains information about 26 public trials that took place in Hyesan.
The report also records four cases in which the death sentence was sentenced to the accused in a public trial but was not executed immediately on the spot, as well as testimonies that the students were systematically mobilized to observe the public trial.
The full report can be downloaded from the TJWG website (https://en.tjwg.org/mapping-project-north-korea/).