NORTH KOREA. PUBLIC EXECUTIONS ON THE RISE
November 27, 2007: North Korea has resumed frequent public executions, after a decline since 2000 amid international criticism but have been increasing, targeting officials accused of drug trafficking, embezzlement and other crimes, the Good Friends aid agency said in a report on the North's human rights.
In October, the North executed the head of a factory in South Pyongan province for making international calls on 13 phones he installed in a factory basement, the aid group said. He was executed by a firing squad in a stadium before a crowd of 150,000. Most North Koreans are banned from communicating with the outside world, part of the regime's authoritarian policies seeking to prevent any challenge to the iron-fisted rule of Kim Jong Il.
The North has carried out four other similar public executions by firing squad against regional officials and heads of factories in recent months, said the aid group. Good Friends, which did not say how it obtained the information, gave no exact figures of the public executions this year. (Sources: Associated Press, 27/11/2007)