More than 300 sites used by the North Korean government to publicly execute its citizens have been identified in a new report. A South Korean nonprofit called Transitional Justice Working Group says it interviewed around 600 North Korean defectors over four years to reach its shocking findings. Like all reports coming out of North Korea, it is difficult to verify these claims. Overall, 318 execution sites were identified—some near markets, others near schools, and also some near sports grounds—and crowds of more than 1,000 people frequently attend the killings. Sometimes, the families of those being executed are forced to watch, including one 7-year-old boy. One defector held in a labor camp in the early 2000s claimed 80 inmates were made to watch the killing of three women charged with trying to escape to China, during which a security officer allegedly shouted to the crowd: “This could happen to you.” The crimes that led to people being put to death also included stealing a cow and watching South Korean TV.
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