At Least 323 Public Execution Sites Located Around North Korea: Report

At Least 323 Public Execution Sites Located Around North Korea: Report
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in as they visit on the top of Mount Paektu in Mount Paektu, North Korea on September 20, 2018. (Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images)
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A human rights group estimates more than 300 public execution sites exist around North Korea, according to its report on Tuesday, June 11.

The Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) released a report that compiled four years of research into the North Korean government’s human rights violations, including interviews with more than 600 North Korean defectors, according to Reuters.

TJWG is a human rights advocacy NGO based in Seoul that conducts research on “transitional justice mechanisms in the world’s most repressive regimes,” according to the group’s website.

TJWG says it aims “to develop practical methods for addressing massive human rights violations and advocating justice for victims in pre- and post-transition societies.”

“Public executions are to remind people of particular policy positions that the state has,” research director at TJWG Sarah A. Son said.

“But the second and more powerful reason is it instills a culture of fear among ordinary people,” she continued.

Since the group that conducted the report wasn’t able to visit all the North Korean locations, the survey was based on estimates, and The Associated Press could not confirm the findings independently.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves as he prepares to leave Vietnam by train in Dong Dang, Vietnam on March 2, 2019. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

The project used satellite imagery to geographically locate each site, the TJWG’s website explains.

Of those interviewed, there were 19 reports of mass executions, where more than 10 people would be killed at the same time, Reuters reported.

Crowds sometimes as large as 1,000 or more people would observe the executions, with the youngest reported witness to an execution being 7 years old, according to TJWG’s report.

From a sample of 84 North Korean defectors, 83% said they had witnessed a public execution while living in North Korea.

It did not specify whether reports of executions are becoming more or less frequent, nor does it say whether the sample of interviewees is representative of the greater North Korean population.

By Matt M. Miller

Follow Matt on Twitter

From The Daily Caller News Foundation

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