His first alleged crime was the poisoning of his own aunt. Jang Sung-taek’s wife was forced to take poison in the best traditions of a classical drama. This news was delivered by CNN citing “a defector from North Korea, who served as a senior state official.” The National Intelligence Service, however, refuted this story as a hoax.
The second “crime” that Kim Jong-un allegedly committed: he ordered the Defense Minister Hyon Yong-chol to be shot by anti-aircraft machine gun. Apparently, the Minister fell out of favor with Kim Jong-un, and he was removed from his office. At first, he no longer appeared in the company of his chief, and then the North Korea announced that another person was appointed to his post. But unlike the story with Jang Sung-taek, his image was not removed from documentaries and his old pictures appeared in the chronicle. Nevertheless, anti-North Korean forces already announced that he had been buried. They supported this statement with a number or heart-rending details speculating about the reason for his execution. He allegedly fell asleep at the parliamentary session in the presence of Kim! He was preparing a military coup! During his visit to Russia, he did not sign a secret military agreement! The sources of information in each case are always “reliable” and anonymous.
Thirdly, notorious Daily NK made Mr. Kim a radical animal rights activist. Referring to a phone conversation with a source in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, this online newspaper gives an account of the execution of a manager of a turtle farm in Pyongyang by shooting. It allegedly happened after the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un visited the farm and criticized its operation: not all the reservoirs had a sufficient quantity of feed and water causing the death of many turtles.
Fourthly, as British Metro newspaper reports, Kim Jong-un executed a chief architect of the new airport in Pyongyang because he failed to incorporate design ideas of the “great dictator” in his project. While inspecting the airport a week before its official commissioning, Mr. Kim ordered to make some designer’s “corrections,” one of which was the installation of a chocolate fountain in the middle of the main hall. The architect and the Chief Project Designer Ma Won-chun had a nerve to smile at such a proposal, for which he was allegedly executed.
According to the official version released by the North Korean authorities, Ma Won-chun was put to death “for corruption and inability to carry out orders.” What is curious, the airport still does not have a chocolate fountain. But who would care to verify that? The Stone Fish law works, horrors about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continue spreading, including those that have been exposed. Here is one of the recent examples. This time it is a “baby” of the Ukrainian press: Flamethrower, Mine Thrower and Poison: Kim Jong-un Boosts Loyalty among His Elite.
New “characters” succeed Shin Dong-hyukn. There are as many of them as two! The first one is referred to as the “North Korean Solzhenitsyn.” This writer works under the pen-name Teacher Pandi, and the North American Mission of The North Korean Defectors as well as the North Korean Defector Association nominated him as a candidate for the Nobel Prize for literature.
The book of Teacher is entitled Prosecution, and this is his first piece of writing. The writer actually lives in North Korea and is not a defector. The novel includes a story similar in the intensity of its dramatism to those told by Shin Dong-hyukn, who was a member of the Union of Writers of DRNK, and was writing without a hope of ever being published, but then he decided “to set his soul free” and hid the manuscript in the multi-volume collection of works by Kim Il-sung, which he entrusted to his sister who defected to China. The Chinese border patrol officers detained a courageous woman, but she managed to save the collection of works containing the manuscript. As soon as she was set free, she contacted a group in South Korea opposing the regime of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and transferred the manuscript to them…
No comments. Actually, there is one remark. There is no need to introduce an anonymous author at press conferences, where some nosy people would ask him some uncomfortable questions as they did in the case with Shin.
The second “character” is a certain Joseph Kim. His story goes like that: at the age of 16, he fled from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to China and later to the USA. In the States, he wrote a book telling how he managed to survive during the Great Hunger, how he lost his parents and still hopes to find them. The book puts special emphasis on horrors and cannibalism.
However, all these facts are only an overture to the main news about the number and identity of the people who were executed in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Initially, the Korean Institute for National Unification released the White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea, stating that 1,382 people had been executed there since 2000. It sounds impressive, but if we divide the number of executions by the number of years and add it to the parameters of estimated population, it turns out that approximately the same number of executions is an annual average in the People’s Republic of China. Thus, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ranks below the level of Iran, while it is somewhat close to the level of Saudi Arabia.
The statistics is not very accurate since no information is provided as to what types of crime the executed were charged with, and what articles of the Criminal Code stipulate capital punishment. After all, criminals and victims of political repressions are two different categories.
In addition, the manner of collecting data for such statistics is even more pathetic. In his statement made on July 9, 2015, Yun Byung-se, the Head of the South Korean Foreign Ministry, said that since the time when the current leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea came to power, 70 people were executed. “This is seven times more in comparison with the first three years of rule of Kim Jong-il. That is very suspicious.”
Yes, exactly. Now, let us recall the figures that the same southerners come up with earlier to shock the mass media, as well as the number of people executed only in 2015, according to the information received from alternative sources:
- according to the report delivered by Yonhap News Agency, on January 26, almost all the relatives of Jang Sung-taek were executed, including his sister, sister’s husband, the Ambassador to Cuba, the nephew of his uncle (the Ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to Malaysia), and even the grandchildren of his brothers;
- on February 4, The Chosun Ilbo informed that 200 companions of Jang Sung-taek were scheduled to be executed and 1,000 more would be sent to prison camps in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;
- on May 31, according to information published in the same “most reliable press of Republic of Korea,” 33 people were sentenced to death in connection with the case of the South Korean pastor Kim Jeong Wook accused of espionage.
This is just a handful of facts, but even if we base our estimates on them, it will turn out that the number of executed is much higher than that declared by the Head of the Foreign Ministry. Are we deceived and the data is underestimated? Or could it be that the Minister is not telling the truth? OR COULD IT BE that the majority of data related to the mass executions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that is spread through the mass media is fake or not verified?
Apparently, credibility of the “horror stories” is melting like the ice on a hot day, and our readers should keep in mind this statistics when they hear another story about people being shot from mine throwers, air defense guns, disintegrator or velociraptor.
Konstantin Asmolov, PhD (History), senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.