A recent report claimed there could be a total of 323 state-sanctioned execution sites within the country. The report, conducted by South Korean human rights group Transition Justice Working Group, spoke to 610 North Korean defectors who alleged the information of the execution sites with the aid of satellite imagery. In addition to the shocking revelation, the report added that the executions are typically carried out in public areas such as “market places” and “school grounds”.
The report suggested: “The North Korean government’s routine killing of its citizens and the denial of the right of family members to give the dead a proper burial has profound effects that last long after the event.”
Moreover, “brief trials” are also carried out on the spot immediately before a public execution.
Without a legal counsel, the defendant is often brought before judgement often “half dead” the report alleged.
The report said: “Brief ‘trials’ almost always occur on the spot immediately before a public execution, where charges are stated and a sentence given without legal counsel for the accused, who very often appears ‘half dead’ when brought to the site by the authorities.
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“Given the lack of due process in the North Korean judicial system it is difficult to know whether the charges announced at an execution actually match the act committed by the accused.”
Although the group did not reveal the exact locations of the sites it did also admit that 267 of the locations were close to the border with China.
In a white paper last week, the Korea Institute for National Unification, a South Korean think tank, alleged that North Korea still uses public executions to instil fear in its people.
The news of the alleged execution sites comes as the Wall Street Journal alleged that Kim’s brother, Kim Jong Nam was supposedly a CIA informant.
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Kim’s brother was assassinated in 2017 in Malaysia and had apparently met with agency operatives.
A source told the Wall Street Journal that there had been “a nexus” between Kim’s half-brother and the CIA.
However, it has not been verified when these apparent meetings took place or whether the North Korean leader was aware of them.
The North Korean leader’s brother was killed in Malaysia following a life of exile away from his family.