North Korea is increasing executions, the top commander of U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula said Monday, as the state has been decreasing military exercises under strain from economic sanctions.
“We’re seeing some increase in executions, mostly against political officers who are in military units, for corruption,” General Vincent K. Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces in Korea, told The Wall Street Journal. Brooks described the executions as attempts to “clamp down as much as possible on something that might be deteriorating and keeping it from deteriorating too quickly.”
Brooks said that defections had been occurring “in areas where we don’t generally see them,” such as crossings through the heavily guarded Demilitarized Zone separating the North and South.