At least seven North Koreans executed in the last decade for watching K-Pop, report shows

At least 7 people in the past decade have been executed in North Korea for watching or distributing K-Pop videos.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has called the South Korean music “vicious cancer”, according to a human rights report that was released Wednesday. Under a newer law, those who distribute South Korean entertainment will face the death penalty.

According to the New York Times, Kim Jong-un has openly attacked all forms of South Korean entertainment, claiming they will corrupt the minds of North Koreans. The North Korean leader’s terror tactics place people who distribute or watch said forms of entertainment at risk of public execution. However, it continues to become increasingly more difficult to determine an estimate of public executions that take place in the country.

The Transitional Justice Working Group has been interviewing hundreds of defectors who escaped the totalitarian regime since 2015. They have been using information gathered to try and determine the number of executions taking place within North Korea borders, and map the places where people are killed and buried from public executions.

Specifically, they are looking into executions that have taken place in Hyesan, which is a North Korean city that borders China, serving as a major place for trading. Hyesan is also where many defectors have once lived in or traveled through, and it has served as a gateway for information into the country.

South Korean entertainment is one of just many items smuggled across the border into North Korea. As a result, the city has captured the attention of the country’s totalitarian leader, as he has used the city as the location of six of seven executions for possession of South Korean entertainment between 2012 and 2014.

The human rights report stated that families of the accused were forced to watch the executions. North Korea has struggled amid the pandemic, and more and more citizens continue to defect to South Korea.




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I was born and raised in Omaha, NE before moving to Sioux Falls, SD to attend college at Augustana University. This past May I graduated from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Biology with an emphasis in Allied Health. I first discovered FBA through my involvement with Turning Point USA where I worked as a Campus Coordinator in college. I have a passion for politics and activism, and was drawn to FBA’s dedication to spreading the truth. Unbiased news is rare in today’s society, so I wanted to be a part of FBA’s mission to change that.

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