Reports Say North Korea Publicly Executed 80 People

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Reports are coming out of North Korea that the isolated nation publicly executed 80 people this month, some for minor offenses. According to the Los Angeles Times, at least on South Korean newspaper reported on the events, which were corroborated by at least one other news agency run by North Korean defectors. Among the alleged infractions that led to the executions were charges relating to prostitution and pornography, watching South Korean videos or possessing a Bible.

The killings reportedly took place in seven cities across the country on November 3. In the city of Wonsan:

Eight people -- their heads covered with white bags -- were tied to stakes at a local stadium in the city of Wonsan, before authorities shot them with a machine gun, according to the source. 

Wonsan authorities gathered a crowd of 10,000 people, including children, at Shinpoong Stadium and forced them to watch the killings.

The relatives of the executed were also supposedly sent to work in labor camps as punishment.

The high body count marks what is for now the most lethal punitive action taken by Kim Jong-un since taking over as head of the government after the death of his father Kim Jong-il two years ago. Back in August, Kim Jong-un ordered the executions of approximately a dozen performers, including one who was believed to be a former lover.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.