January 3rd, 2012 Headsman
North Korea is not amused by this tactic and has pressured — and even militarily threatened — South Korea to clamp down on it. But that’s nothing next to the clampdown within North Korea.
On this date in 2011, according to an activist whose father is a North Korea abductee, two were publicly shot for the crime of handling these leaflets.
An army officer who pocketed dollar bills enclosed with the leaflets was shot along with a 45-year-old woman who concealed one of the flyers, said Choi Sung-Yong.
He said the executions were carried out on January 3 at Sariwon, 45 kilometres (27 miles) south of Pyongyang, in front of 500 spectators following a special ideological session on the leaflets.
Choi, citing a source in Sariwon, told AFP that six members of the victims’ families had been sent to a camp for political prisoners.
“North Korea apparently carried out the executions to teach a lesson to its people,” Choi said.
He said the regime appeared to have tightened ideological control as it grooms the youngest son of leader Kim Jong-Il as eventual successor to his father.
Those dollar bills that cost the army officer his life are, very sadly, enclosed with some leaflets to induce North Koreans to pick them up despite the risk to life and limb.
Also on this date
- 1898: Doc Tanner, Copper River gold rusher
- 1661: The effigy and books of Giuseppe Francesco Borri
- 1786: Elizabeth Wilson, her reprieve too late
- 1645: John Hotham the Elder
- 1946: William Joyce, Lord Haw-Haw
- 2002: Sani Yakubu