North Korea publicly executed as many as 80 people — some for infractions as minor as watching South Korean movies or possessing a Bible — in the first known mass executions in the Kim Jong-un regime, South Korean media reported.
People were executed in Wonsan, Chongjin, Sariwon and Pyongsong. No one was put to death in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, UPI reported.
Eight people were tied to stakes at a stadium in Wonsan before they were executed with a machine gun, a source told the South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo.
About 10,000 men, women and children were forced to watch the killings.
“I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were (so) riddled by machine-gun fire that they were hard to identify afterward,” a source told the JoongAng Ilbo.
Most of the victims in Wonsan were charged with watching or illegally trafficking South Korean videos, prostitution, or possessing a Bible, Fox News reported. Relatives of those executed most likely were sent to prison camps.
Simultaneous executions across the country could suggest an extreme measure by Mr. Kim’s regime to quell public unrest. The common theme of the persecution was crimes related to South Korea or corruption of public morals, Fox News said.