North Korea executes citizen for breaking coronavirus rules as panicked Kim cracks down

Kim Jong-un is ‘having difficulty’ reveals North Korea expert

In a public execution, a firing squad in the hermit kingdom is understood to have shot dead a man accused of smuggling across the border with China. Authorities said the execution took place as a strong warning to residents to follow its “ultra-high-level emergency quarantine measures” to fight the coronavirus pandemic – despite claiming to have never had a COVID-19 case.

The brutal regime is known for its harsh punishments as dictator Kim Jong-un strengthens his stranglehold over his 25.5million North Korean citizens.

A source told RFA’s Korean Service: “Since the end of November, the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party has ratcheted up the existing emergency quarantine measures to ‘ultra-high-level emergency quarantine measures’.

“They held a public execution by firing squad to threaten residents here in the border area, because there’s been a lot of contact with people on the other side of the border, including a lot of smuggling.”

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The man in his 50s was executed on November 28 just eight days after North Korea brought in its tough new coronavirus restrictions.

Another insider said the execution took place to “raise the alarm about the coronavirus”. 

They added: “The public execution happened because the victim was charged with violating quarantine right before the ultra-high-level emergency measures took effect around November 20.

“A man in his 50s who tried to smuggle with Chinese business partners was shot as an example on November 28.

“At the end of last month, the Central Committee circulated an internal instruction to agencies and state-run companies across the country to ‘raise the alarm about the coronavirus.’

“This is when the provincial security department, the police, factories, companies and neighbourhood watch units organised a surveillance team to crack down on people who were breaking quarantine rules.”

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The news comes after South Korean intelligence reported North Korea had carried out executions and banned fishing as the regime puts the capital Pyongyang into immediate lockdown following a spike in coronavirus infections.

The National Intelligence Service, NIS, of South Korea claimed Kim executed a currency trader in Pyongyang in October.

North Korea authorities have also taken the bizarre measure of banning fishing and salt production at sea as the regime suspects seawater can transmit the pathogen.

In August an important government official was executed for breaking regulations for foreign imports.

In November, the secluded nation’s capital Pyongyang was placed into complete lockdown over coronavirus concerns.

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