A man was publicly executed in North Korea for violating COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, according to disturbing new reports.
Radio Free Asia reported that the unnamed man was executed by firing squad last month after he was accused of smuggling with his Chinese business partners. Sources said that his execution was ordered by North Korean officials in an attempt to scare other citizens into total compliance totalitarian nation’s emergency lockdown measures.
“Since the end of November, the Central Committee [of the Korean Workers’ Party] have ratcheted up the existing emergency quarantine measures to ‘ultra-high-level’ emergency quarantine measures,” said a resident of North Pyongan province, on the border with China in the country’s northwest.
“The public execution happened because the victim was charged with violating quarantine right before the ultra-high-level emergency measures took effect around November 20th,” the source added. “A man in his 50s who tried to smuggle with Chinese business partners was shot as an example on November 28th.”
While this source did not attend the execution, they did discuss it with a witness, who said that the shooting was moved away from the border to the victim’s home county in the hopes of keeping news of the execution from seeping into China.
A North Pyongan official spoke out to say that the people of North Korea are becoming increasingly fearful over the strict measures to control their movement.
“While guarding the border seamlessly from the ground, in the air, and at sea, authorities ordered soldiers to shoot anyone approaching the border unconditionally, regardless of who the person is or their reason for being in the area. It is an absolute threat to the border area residents,” this source said.
“The Central Committee’s order to sound the alarm means we are to warn the people that those who violate the rules will be executed with a firing squad. Even during the Arduous March in the 1990s, when mass defections continued, the government did not threaten the residents of the border area like this,” the official added, referring to the 1994-1998 famine that killed millions North Koreans, almost ten percent of the population.
The official concluded by saying that the execution was typical of North Korea, a country that often tries to make an example of someone to scare its people into compliance.
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