Report: North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un responsible for 340 executions while in power

Report: North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un responsible for 340 executions while in power

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un ordered the executions of 340 people in the five years that he has been in power, according to a report [materials in Korean] from the Institute for National Security Strategy [website in Korean], a South Korean think tank. About 140 of those executed are believed to have been senior officials in the North Korean government, according to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service [website]. The 200 page INSS report details several particularly brutal executions. North Korean Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol was killed [Korean Times report] in front of an audience with an anti-aircraft gun, with reports [Yonhap News report] that his offense was “dozing off” at a meeting.

North Korea has been an international source of concern due to the country’s human rights record and instability. In March UN human rights investigator Marzuki Darusman [official profile] urged [press release] the UN Human Rights Council to push for the prosecution of top North Korean government officials for crimes against humanity [JURIST report]. In February Darusman asked the UN to provide North Korea with notice [JURIST report] that Kim Jong Un may be investigated for crimes against humanity. The US House of Representatives [official website] in January approved [press release] legislation that would increase sanctions against North Korea for its continuation of nuclear testing [JURIST report]. Japan and the EU circulated [JURIST report] a draft UN resolution in November condemning North Korea’s human rights abuses and encouraging the UN Security Council to refer the country to the International Criminal Court [official website], noting reports of torture, limits on freedom of mobility, restrictions on freedom of speech, restrictions on freedom of religion, privacy infringement, arbitrary imprisonment, prison camps and more.