North Korean Regime Intensifies ‘Reign of Terror’
(Chosun Ilbo) The North Korean regime appears to have started a new reign of terror to consolidate the succession of leader Kim Jong-il’s son Jong-un.
The South Korean government and a North Korean source on Wednesday said public executions more than tripled last year. And increasing numbers of North Koreans have been killed trying to cross the Apnok (or Yalu) or Duman (or Tumen) River after the regime gave a shoot-to-kill order. The party and military, meanwhile, are engulfed in a whirlwind of purges, observers believe.
◆ Public Executions
A diplomatic source familiar with North Korean affairs Wednesday said there were 60 confirmed public executions in the North last year, more than triple the number of 2009. “Since last year, the regime has put a notice on bulletin boards warning that those who use Chinese-made mobile phones or illegally circulate dollars face public execution, the source said.
Another source familiar with North Korean affairs said, “It’s rumored that Kim Jong-un has called for ‘gunshots across the country.’ Kim Jong-il did exactly the same thing when he took power.”
Jang Se-yul of the North Korean People’s Liberation Front, a group of former North Korean soldiers and officers who defected to South Korea, said, “In Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province alone last year, at least six people were executed publicly on charges of human trafficking and robbery. People are executed publicly for crimes that would have sent them to prison for just a few years in the past.” email@example.com / Jan. 13, 2011 11:18 KST