NORTH KOREA: CITIZEN PUBLICLY EXECUTED FOR BREAKING COVID RESTRICTION RULES
|North Korean soldiers on guard duty in Sinuiju
December 5, 2020:
North Korea held a public execution by firing squad on 28 November 2020 to punish a breach of coronavirus rules, insiders in the country say. (Sources: RFA, 04/12/2020)
A man accused of smuggling across the sealed-off Chinese border was shot dead in order to scare people into following the rules, according to Radio Free Asia.
While North Korea officially claims it has never had a case of Covid-19, Kim Jong-un's regime has brought in 'ultra-high-level emergency quarantine measures' and troops have been ordered to shoot trespassers at the Chinese border, sources say.
'They held a public execution by firing squad to threaten residents in the border area, because there's been a lot of contact with people on the other side of the border, including a lot of smuggling,' one source said.
“The public execution happened because the victim was charged with violating quarantine right before the ultra-high-level emergency measures took effect around November 20th. A man in his 50s who tried to smuggle with Chinese business partners was shot as an example on November 28th,” the source said.
The source was not a witness to the public execution but had discussed it with someone who was in attendance. According to that person, authorities changed the site of the execution to avoid international scrutiny.
“They were supposed to shoot the guy in Sinuiju, but they decided to do it in Ryongchon county, because he’s from that area. If they did it in Sinuiju, news would quickly spread across the border to China,” said the source. Sinuiju is visible across the Yalu River from the Chinese city of Dandong.
China is North Korea's biggest trading partner and aid benefactor, but trade between the two has slumped by 75 per cent because of the pandemic.
Fearful that smugglers could bring in the virus, Kim's regime has beefed up its military presence at the border to enforce the restrictions.
Pyongyang has also dispatched special units to check on border guards and make sure they are not involved in smuggling themselves, it is claimed.