North Korea has reportedly publicly executed up at least 50 people this year, including several party officials for watching soap operas.
According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), Pyongyang has purged about 10 officials from Kim Jong-Un’s Workers’ Party for watching South Korean soaps. It is not known whether the most recent group of officials executed include six reported missing earlier this month.
The officials, who also faced charges of bribery and womanizing, were thought to be close to Kim’s executed uncle, Jang Song-thaek, Yonhap news agency reported.
In the eastern port of Wonsan, the authorities gathered 10,000 people in a sports stadium to watch the execution of eight people by firing squad, JoongAng Ilbo reported.
All television and media is under strict state control and access to the internet is limited but despite a harsh crackdown, banned foreign shows and films have been gaining popularity in recent years. Some are believed to be secretly streamed over the internet, while others are smuggled into the country on DVDs, video cassettes of memory sticks sold on the black market.