By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA (ANS – July 20, 2017) — Kim Jong Un’s brutal North Korean regime shot so-called “criminals” to death in schoolyards and fish markets in a twisted attempt to create an “atmosphere of fear” throughout the dictatorship, a Wednesday (July 19) report from a human rights group has revealed.
The report, released by The Transnational Justice Working Group (http://tinyurl.com/y9cj6xju) in Seoul, South Korea, gathered information from more than 300 North Korean refugees who witnessed the regime’s firing squad executing criminals in public areas to attract large crowds and instill fear in its citizens, according to Katherine Lam reporting for FOX News (http://www.foxnews.com).
“In ordinary areas outside the prison system, our interviewees stated that public executions take place near river banks, in river beds, near bridges, in public sports stadiums, in the local marketplace, on school grounds in the fringes of the city, or on mountainsides,” the report stated.
The report said people were publicly executed for crimes such as stealing rice and livestock and distributing South Korean media. Those prisoners were mixed in with citizens convicted of violent crimes, such as murder and manslaughter, as well as organized prostitution and sexual assault.
“Many interviewees said that the final decision for a public execution was often influenced by individuals having a ‘bad’ family background in addition to the crime they were alleged to have committed,” the report stated.
The executions were carried out publicly to create an “atmosphere of fear,” according to the report.
FOX News also reported the South Korean non-governmental organization that authored the document also mapped out the “killing sites” in provinces within the dictatorship, hoping such detailed work would finally help to hold the rogue regime accountable for what TJWG called crimes against humanity.
“The maps and the accompanying testimonies create a picture of the scale of the abuses that have taken place over decades,” the report stated.
Kim’s regime has long denied human rights abuses. But in 2014, a United Nations commission report (http://tinyurl.com/nu3v9eu) found the country had a slew of human rights violations, FOX News stated.
Reuters reported (http://tinyurl.com/y74nucmt) that North Korea, however, has continued to insist its citizens are protected under the country’s constitution. Pyongyang also accuses the United States of being the “world’s worst rights violator.”
Questions about North Korea’s treatment of prisoners recently made international news after American student Otto Warmbier died last month.
Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor last year for allegedly stealing a political poster from a hotel in Pyongyang. But North Korea returned him last month to his Cincinnati home in a coma. Warmbier suffered from severe brain damage and soon died.
Editor’s Note: ANS Founder Dan Wooding is one of the few Christian journalists to have ever visited North Korea. He spent his time there traveling throughout this secretive country reporting for the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. In view of this latest news, Dan has asked for prayer for the suffering people of North Korea, especially the Christians, who live in constant danger from Kim Jong Un and his brutal regime.
Photo captions: 1) North Koreans work on a field in the propaganda village of Gijungdong near the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone in Paju, 42 km (26 miles) northwest of Seoul, that separates North Korea from the South. (Reuters/Lee Jae-Won). 2) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country’s founding father, Kim Il-sung. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj). 3) Otto Warmbier being arrested. 4) Dan Wooding with Dr. David Cho, who helped organize the trip to North Korea, in Pyongyang with the huge statue of Kim Il-sung in the background .4) Michael Ireland.
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister, and an award-winning local cable-TV program host/producer who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael
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