NORTH KOREA. SLOGAN TREE SMUGGLER PUBLICLY EXECUTED
July 23, 2007: North Korea has publicly executed a trade official for smuggling timber to China that included protected â€śslogan treesâ€ť.
Senior local timber trader Oh Mun-Hyok was shot dead and four accomplices sentenced to life imprisonment, South Koreaâ€™s Yonhap news agency said, quoting unnamed diplomatic sources. Local government and trade officials were forced to watch Ohâ€™s public execution at Yonsa in the northern province of North Hamkyong.
Founding leader Kim Il-Sung reputedly carved anti-Japanese messages on the cherished â€śslogan treesâ€ť in the 1920s and 30s. More than 1,000 such slogan-inscribed trees still exist across the country, however critics in the South say it is a sheer fabrication. (Sources: Gulf Times, 06/08/2007)