N. Korea Executes 80— for Bibles, TV: Report
Raft of public executions said to have taken place this month
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 12, 2013 3:20 PM CST
North Korean defector Park Sang Hak, right, carries a poster showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during an anti-North Korea rally in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – North Korea has publicly executed some 80 people this month, a source tells a South Korean newspaper. In the city of Wonsan, hooded victims were tied to poles in front of a stadium of 10,000 people, where they were shot with machine guns, the source says. Crimes reportedly included possessing a Bible, watching smuggled South Korean TV shows, and distributing pornography, the Los Angeles Times and AFP report.

"I heard from the residents that ... the corpses were so riddled by machine-gun fire that they were hard to identify afterwards," the source told JoongAng Ilbo, one of the South's top newspapers, which wasn't able to confirm the executions, the Daily Mail notes. The punishments may have been intended to shut down dissent and pro-capitalist sentiment, the JoongAng Ilbo suggests. "The regime is obviously afraid of potential changes in people's mind-sets and is preemptively trying to scare people off," an official at a defectors' website tells AFP. The alleged executions follow a report in August claiming Kim Jong Un's ex-girlfriend was put to death.
 

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