North Korea Publicly Executes 80 People For Watching Foreign Films

North Korea has publicly executed 80 people for watching foreign television programmes, a South Korean newspaper claimed today.

The terrifying statement was made by South Korean newspaper, Seoul’s JoongAng Ilbo daily. It is reported that the government sanctioned murders, carried out on November 3rd, took place in several separate cities on the same day and that, horrifyingly, up to 10,000 people were forced to witness as one person was killed in a  sports stadium in the eastern port city Wonsan.

The alleged offenses of the victims were "watching illicit South Korean TV dramas and some with prostitution”.

It is said the details came from one, unidentified source. There reason for the delay in the information hitting the papers appears to be that the person was unable to travel out of the communist state to the safety of its neighbour til this time.

However, rather than being written off as fear mongering, the story was given credibility when online media agency, Daily NK, run by North Korean defectors, admitted to having also heard of the executions.

Western television shows such as Desperate Housewives are viewed illegally in the country and have a surprisingly sound following, despite the dire consequences facing those who are discovered.

It is thought the majority of the programmes are smuggled into the country on DVDs, MP3 players and Flash drives.

The question remains if this will make an impact on the importation of the material. With this being reported as the second wave of executions in as many months, it seems doubtful.

Words by Gemma Clark