Authoritarian North Korea has publicly executed an individual who allegedly violated "emergency quarantine measures," reports say. The regime did this in order to scare people into following measures put in place to check the spread of Covid-19. However, the irony remains that the communist regime has not acknowledged a coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party ordered the public execution by the firing squad, Radio Free Asia reported, citing sources within North Korea. This happened in the 'border area', the report said. According to the report, the execution took place on November 28.

"The public execution happened because the victim was charged with violating quarantine right before the ultra-high-level emergency measures took effect around November 20th," a source told RFA. The victim was a man in his 50s who tried to 'smuggle with Chinese business partners', the report added.

N.Korea Covid 19
North Korea reported zero coronavirus cases Pixabay

Kim Jong-Un Gets Vaccine Shot

The claim that North Korea has not seen a virus outbreak does not hold ground among observers. A report said earlier this week that autocrat Kim Jong un and his family were given Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines. The claim was made by a US analyst who cited two unidentified sources from the Japanese intelligence.

In November, Microsoft said that two North Korean hacking groups had tried to break into the network of vaccine developers in multiple countries, which raises suspicion that Kim's administration is probably trying to get access to a Covid-19 vaccine to treat its own people.

Another report said on Friday that Pyongyang deployed military units equipped with anti-aircraft guns on the Chinese border in order to prevent people from fleeing the country. "In October, the General Command ordered corps commands stationed along the border to forward-deploy anti-aircraft guns," a military source told RFA.

Shooting People Who Try to Flee to China

Whether the impoverished country has already seen a coronavirus outbreak or not, the fact remains that Pyongyang sees the border with China an extremely weak point in its defense against the virus. Hordes of migrant laborers move through this corridor, making real the possibility of contracting the virus in China and spreading it in the country.

Hence, starting the end of November, the Central Committee ratcheted up the existing emergency quarantine measures to 'ultra-high-level emergency quarantine measures," the report said. These measures are strictly followed in areas bordering China, the report said.

The authorities wanted to highlight the dire situation by ordering the execution by firing squad, the report said. The city of Sinuiju, which lies just across the border from China's Dandong, is one of the major cross-border trading hubs.

Arbitrary Shooting on the Border?

Apart from the reported execution, arbitrary shooting of other border residents is also happening in the region, he report suggests. "While guarding the border seamlessly from the ground, in the air, and at sea, authorities ordered soldiers to shoot anyone approaching the border unconditionally, regardless of who the person is or their reason for being in the area. It is an absolute threat to the border area residents," the report said, citing another source.