Posts filed under 'North Korea'

1974: Mun Segwang, errant assassin

1 comment December 20th, 2009 Headsman

This morning in Seoul, Mun Segwang (various similar transliterations possible) was hanged for an assassination attempt four months earlier.

Mun, a Japanese-reared Korean who needed a translator for his subsequent trial, tried to gun down dictator Park Chung-hee at a Independence Day speech Aug. 15.

Mun missed Park, but he did kill two others: a high school student; and, Park’s wife Yuk Yeong-su, the seated white-clad figure in the middle of the assassination footage who can be seen beginning to crumple on stage as the camera pans away.

South Korea figured him as the agent of a North Korean/Communist plot, which conclusion Japan and the North rejected vehemently. (Trial evidence also indicated that he read The Day of the Jackal.)

Park got lucky this time, but the autocrat was successfully iced five years later by his own intelligence chief. (Guess what happened to him.)

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Assassins,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,History,Japan,Korea,Murder,North Korea,Shot,South Korea

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2007: Five women in Hoiryeong Public Stadium

Add comment October 7th, 2009 Headsman

On this date in 2007, according to the Daily NK, five women were publicly tried, then immediately shot, in Hoiryeong Public Stadium in North Korea’s North Hamkyung province.

Their crime, “prostitution”, is supposed to be a euphemism for aiding refugees escaping to China in the area that also generated an infamous execution film broadcast on Japanese television in 2005. (And other death sentences earlier in 2007. North Korea is not enthusiastic about escapees.)

As usual with the insular state, details are hard to come by. The North Korean Human Rights Infringement Center claimed Pyongyang carried out 901 public executions in 2007; that figure would potentially make it the world’s #2 (after China) death penalty user, though Amnesty International doesn’t even venture a tally of North Korean executions.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Known But To God,Korea,Mass Executions,North Korea,Power,Public Executions,Shot,Women

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2007: A factory manager in a packed stadium

2 comments October 5th, 2008 Headsman

Last year on this day, six people were reportedly trampled to death when a massive crowd stampeded after watching the execution of a 75-year-old factory manager in North Korea.

The man, who is not named in English-language sources I’ve perused, had fabricated his father’s past as a good Communist when in fact dad worked to suppress the reds. That con kept the family among North Korea’s privileged elite for years.

According to the South Korean nonprofit Good Friends, he faced a snap tribunal and immediate execution in Suncheon this day, in a stadium with 150,000-plus* onlookers, part of a campaign of stepped-up public executions that Good Friends says (.doc) has been driven by the insular country’s decade-long famine. (See another one — illicitly filmed graphic video included — here.)

And he wasn’t the only one to depart the premises in a body bag. The stampede is said to have occurred after the proceedings as spectators were leaving; the cause, if there was one, is sketchily described, although some news reports call it a “melee.” Thirty-four others were reportedly injuried in the crush.

* The figure 170,000 is also cited.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,Known But To God,Korea,North Korea,Public Executions,Ripped from the Headlines,Shot,Summary Executions

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2005: Han Bok-nam, whose death was illicitly filmed

4 comments March 2nd, 2008 Headsman

On this date in 2005, at an outdoor trial near Yuson, North Korea, Han Bok-nam was sentenced to death for trafficking across the nearby Chinese border and immediately executed by firing squad.

Hard information on death sentences from the opaque People’s Republic is notoriously rare on the ground. This day’s execution, and two in a nearby location the previous day, became known thanks to an illicit video smuggled out of the country in the following weeks — a gutsy operation that might well have exposed its perpetrators to a death sentence of their own had they been detected.

The 12-minute film — showing bicycle-riding citizens summoned to attend the grisly spectacle for maximum salutary effect — made international headlines and proved at least a momentary embarrassment for Pyongyang. This three-minute excerpt of the events of March 2 has been made freely available with English narration.

Caution: This video contains graphic footage.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Common Criminals,Mature Content,North Korea,Public Executions,Ripped from the Headlines,Shot,Summary Executions,Treason

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