[JURIST] The North Korean government is stepping up the use of public executions, South Korean aid agency Good Friends [advocacy website, in Korean] said Monday. Good Friends said that the regime is targeting public officials accused of crimes such as drug trafficking or embezzlement. Public executions in North Korea had previously been on the decline since 2000 under pressure from the international community.
The government of North Korea has long been accused of using the death penalty against its political enemies, among other human rights violations. In September, the US State Department designated North Korea amongst a list of "countries of particular concern" for its systematic repression of religious freedom in its annual Report on International Religious Freedom [text; JURIST report]. North Korea has also been accused of human trafficking, press repression, and "actively committing crimes against humanity" [JURIST reports]. AP has more.