08 April 2020 :
Authorities in North Korea executed without trial three high-ranking officials last week on charges of treason, for allegedly stealing food from the country’s strategic supply and selling it on the open market amid skyrocketing prices resulting from the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, sources within the isolated country told Radio Free Asia on 5 April 2020.
According to sources familiar with the situation, the food was part of a large emergency shipment from China that was allowed to come through despite trade between the two countries having been shut down to prevent the spread of the virus.
The portion that was sold on the market was high-quality food intended to be used in celebrations for national founder Kim Il Sung’s birthday on 15 April, a holiday referred to as the Day of the Sun.
A trader in North Pyongan province told RFA’s Korean Service on 5 April said that authorities temporarily reopened the Dandong-Sinuiju customs office on 23 March to accept the shipment. It had been completely shut down since January.
“Even with the coronavirus going on, they opened up [the customs office] and quickly brought those supplies in,” said the source.
“Three executives stole [some] of these imported strategic supplies on the local market and were shot dead without a trial a few days ago on charges of treason,” the source added.
According to the source, the execution may have been ordered by Kim Jong Un himself.
“The results of the investigation were included in a No. 1 report,” the source said, using a term that means the report was intended for the country’s supreme leader.
“I understand that they were shot to death in accordance with the No. 1 policy to treat the case as national treason because they stole emergency goods imported by the Central Committee,” said the source, adding that it was unknown when and where the execution took place.