UK. BBC AIRS FILM OF NORTH KOREAN PUBLIC EXECUTION
April 4, 2005: the BBC broadcast footage purportedly showing the public execution of North Koreans caught trying to flee the country. The videotape obtained exclusively by the BBC was reportedly filmed clandestinely in a village near the North's border with China a month previously.
It showed scenes of the condemned standing in fields and a voice off screen ordering them to be shot. According to the subtitles, the voice ordered, "Aim at the enemy. Shot by shot. Fire. Fire. Fire. Cease firing."
Kim Young-soon, an escapee from North Korea, told the BBC the footage showed people arrested in an attempt to flee the Stalinist country, tried "in the name of the people" and shot dead. Some 1,000 villagers were forced to watch the executions and were told the same thing would happen to them if they tried to escape, Kim added.
The authenticity of the film could not be confirmed, but the footage accorded with testimony from a considerable number of North Korean escapes, the BBC said.
Bill Rammell, Under Secretary of State at Britainâs Foreign Office, said in a separate interview if North Korea did not improve its human rights record immediately, the international community should study stricter measures against Pyongyang.
He said convincing reports described human experiments in gas chambers, killing of infants and detention of whole families. "We have a right to exercise pressure on that regime," he added.
Rammell, who visited North Korea in September 2004, told the United Nations Human Rights Commission the European Union would submit a resolution condemning the North's human rights abuses and calling for
reinforced monitoring by UN human rights experts. (Sources: Chosun Ilbo, 05/04/2005)