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 âslogan treesâ.
Senior local timber trader Oh Mun-Hyok was shot dead and four accomplices sentenced to life imprisonment, South Koreaâs Yonhap news agency said, quoting unnamed diplomatic sources. Local government and trade officials were forced to watch Ohâs public execution at Yonsa in the northern province of North Hamkyong.
Founding leader Kim Il-Sung reputedly carved anti-Japanese messages on the cherished âslogan treesâ 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)