August 16, 2016 10:52
Public executions and surveillance have reached new levels of terror in North Korea this year, sources from the repressive country say.
One source on Monday said North Korean authorities killed around 60 people in public executions so far this year, twice as many as in previous years since leader Kim Jong-un came to power.
As international sanctions began to bite, the regime is increasingly resorting to forced mobilizations of people for public projects and extortion. The public executions serve to keep growing discontent in check. The families of defectors and brokers who helped North Koreans escape are being summarily executed.
According to sources, state security agency arrested dozens of family members of defectors and brokers in February and executed them on charges of espionage, while around a dozen brokers China were arrested and put in front of a firing squad in Hyesan, Ryanggang Province in April.
Also in Hyesan, many were killed by firing squad on charges of watching South Korean TV series and movies. In July, around a dozen drug users were executed in Wonsan, Kangwon Province and Unsan, North Pyongan Province.
A group of security agents have been organized by the Workers Party to crack down on people who have left their registered addresses without permission. The group was created in 2014 at the order of leader Kim Jong-un and is mainly in charge of arresting illegitimate travelers and press-ganging them into grueling construction projects.
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