North Korea has executed at least 7 people over South Korean videos: Report

  • Kim Jong Un’s regime has publicly executed at least 23 people, according to a new report.
  • At least 7 people were executed for sharing South Korean media, including K-Pop.
  • Kim strikes down on foreign influence while North Korea’s economy rumbles amid the pandemic and halted nuclear talks.

At least seven people have been publicly executed in North Korea for watching or distributing South Korean media, including K-Pop videos, according to a new report from the Transitional Justice Working Group, a Seoul-based human rights group.

The report said there had been at least 23 public executions under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who came to power ten years ago after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.

The rights group drafted the report, which provides shocking details, via interviews with hundreds of North Korean defectors.

“Interviewees often stated that the rules of public execution require three shooters to fire a total of nine bullets into the convict’s body,” the report said. “The families of those executed were often forced to watch the execution.”

One interviewee said he witnessed an execution that served as a “warning message from the state” in which he said: “Even when fluid leaked from the convict’s brain, people were forced to stand in line and watch it. executed person in the face as a warning. “

Kim, who is waging a culture war and launching a repression of foreign influence, has described K-Pop as an “evil cancer.” Last December, the North Korean government passed a law criminalizing the distribution of South Korean media, including music and movies. Last month, Radio Free Asia reported that North Korea was set to execute a man by firing to smuggle and sell Netflix’s hit show “Squid Game.”

Amid a historic engagement between the United States and North Korea in 2018 that also fostered a warming of relations between Seoul and Pyongyang, Kim attended a K-Pop concert in the North Korean capital.

But experts say Kim shifted to brutally crack down on South Korean influence after nuclear talks with the Trump administration fell apart and as the North Korean economy swirled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Part of this is trying to restore the party’s power and try to re-establish social control in a time of need,” Jenny Town, a senior fellow at Stimson Center and director of Stimson’s 38 North Program, told Insider’s Ryan Pickrell in June. “We generally see crashes when there are more domestic difficulties than usual.”

Kim did not manage to obtain the much-desired sanction exemption from nuclear negotiations with the United States, and there has been little or no movement in starting negotiations back under the Biden administration.

However, it is unlikely that the North Korean leader will see any movement on the sanctions front unless he takes significant steps toward nuclear disarmament, such as renouncing all nuclear enrichment activities and allowing inspectors to enter the country. The United States last Friday imposed new sanctions on people and entities linked to North Korea – the first to target the country during the Biden era – for human rights violations.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said in his comments during a trip to Southeast Asia this week that the United States is seeking “serious and lasting diplomacy” with North Korea, stressing that nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula remains Washington’s “ultimate goal.”

“We will work with allies and partners to address the threat posed by DPRK’s nuclear programs through a calibrated, practical approach, while strengthening our expanded deterrence,” Blinken said.

Park Won Gon, a professor of North Korean studies at Seoul’s Ewha Women’s University, recently told NPR that North Korea’s economic problems could mean problems for his regime in the long run.

“The nuclear weapons program, the economy and the stability of the regime are all intertwined. If the nuclear issue is not resolved, the economy will not get better and it opens up the possibility of unrest and confusion in North Korean society,” Park said.

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