North Korea executed 80 people, in some cases, tying them to stakes and machine-gunning them before 10,000 spectators of all ages assembled in a sports stadium. Among the crimes: possessing a Bible.
Some 80 people were publicly executed earlier this month in seven cities in North Korea excluding Pyongyang, the first known large-scale public executions by the Kim Jong-un regime, the JoongAng Ilbo reported.
The executions occurred on Sunday, Nov. 3, according to a source familiar with internal affairs in the North who recently visited the country.
The people were executed for relatively light transgressions such as watching South Korean movies or distributing pornography.
About 10 people were killed in each city, which included Wonsan in Kangwon Province, Chongjin in North Hamgyong Province, Sariwon in North Hwanghae Province and Pyongsong in South Pyongan.
In Wonsan, eight people were tied to a stakes at a local stadium, had their heads covered with white sacks and were shot with a machine gun, according to the source.
According to witnesses of the execution, the source said, Wonsan authorities gathered some 10,000 people, including children, at Shinpoong Stadium, which has a capacity of 30,000 people, and forced them to watch.
“I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were riddled by machine-gun fire that they were hard to identify afterwards.”
The Wonsan victims were mostly charged with watching or illegally trafficking South Korean videos, being involved in prostitution or being in possession of a Bible.