North Korea publicly executes 2 teenagers for distributing South Korean movies

Hamhung, North Korea.

Hamhung City in North Korea. Photo: Raymond Cunningham / flickr.




North Korea has publicly executed three teenagers by firing squad – two for watching and distributing South Korean movies and one for murdering his stepmother – two sources who witnessed it told Radio Free Asia.

The alleged crimes committed by the teens, estimated to be 16 or 17, were equally evil, authorities told terrified residents, who were forced to watch, the sources said.

“They said, ‘Those who watch or distribute South Korean movies and dramas, and those who disrupt social order by murdering other people, will not be forgiven and will be sentenced to the maximum penalty–death,’” a resident of the city of Hyesan, on the border with China, where the execution took place, told RFA’s Korean service.

The execution took place in October at an airfield in the city, the resident said.

“Hyesan residents gathered in groups at the runway,” she said. “The authorities put the teen-aged students in front of the public, sentenced them to death, and immediately shot them.”

Such executions are rare in North Korea, but not unheard-of. Authorities will typically use executions to terrify people into behaving in the way they want them to.

The executions occurred about a week after authorities held public meetings to tell the public that they were going to get tough on crimes involving foreign media, especially from more prosperous and democratic South Korea.

Full story: rfa.org

Translated by Claire Shinyoung Oh Lee. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

Copyright © 1998-2022, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.



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