A citizen in North Korea was executed by firing squad shooting, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA), after the man was charged with smuggling with his Chinese business partners.
The report indicated that the public execution was ordered in an attempt to frighten other people into strict compliance with the country’s emergency quarantine measures.
North Korea, which shares China’s border, has repeatedly said it is Covid-free, but a number of extreme lockdown restrictions have been imposed by the government to avoid the spread of the virus, including a travel ban between provinces.
“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,” a resident of North Pyongan province on the northwestern border with China told the Korean Service of RFA this week.
The public execution occurred because shortly before the ultra-high-level emergency steps took effect about 20 November, the victim was accused of violating quarantine. On 28 November, the source added, a man in his 50s who tried to smuggle with Chinese business partners was shot as an example.
The source said they did not attend the public execution, but spoke to a witness about it, who said the shooting was moved away from the home county of the victim, near the border, to prevent the news from seeping into China.
People are increasingly afraid of the government’s imposed control measures, a North Pyongan official told RFA.
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 – A second source added.