North Korea has reportedly publicly executed 80 people for watching South Korean television shows.
The unconfirmed killings, said to be the first known large-scale executions by the Kim Jong-Un regime, took place across seven cities earlier this month, a source told South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo Daily.
Eight people had their heads covered with white sacks and were tied to stakes at Shinpong Stadium in Wonsan, in Kangwon Province, as they were shot dead by North Korean forces, the newspaper reported.
Witnesses apparently told the source that authorities forced some 10,000 people, including children, to watch the execution.
“I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were riddled by machine-gun fire,” the source was quoted as saying.
“They were hard to identify afterwards.”
The victims were allegedly charged with watching or illegally trafficking South Korean videos, being involved in prostitution or possessing a Bible.
Relatives of those executed and implicated in their alleged crimes were reportedly sent to prison camps.
North Korean law allows executions for conspiring to overthrow the government, treason and terrorism.
The government in Pyongyang has reportedly been known to order public executions for religious activism and mobile phone use.