The North Korean regime has allegedly executed six government officials in charge of supervision of its workers overseas, in front of their families. The execution took place over the defection of restaurant workers in China in April 2016.
"North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered six officials, including intelligence officials, to be executed publicly on May 5 due to their lack of control over overseas [North Korean] workers," a North Korean watcher Choi Seong-yong, who is the chief of Abductees' Family Union, told the Yonhap news agency.
Eighty public officials and 100 people, who have their family members working overseas, were forced to watch the execution, he added.
The news, which is just coming to light now, is impossible to independently verify due to North Korea's secretive state.
In early April, a group of 12 women and one man fled from a North Korea-run restaurant in China's eastern port city of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province and defected to South Korea.
The defectors were allegedly covertly chosen by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s leadership to work abroad to earn money for their government.
In an interview with CNN, the defectors’ colleagues explained how their restaurant manager collaborated with a South Korean executive to coordinate the trip. The servers believe government authorities in Seoul were also involved.
“In mid-March our restaurant manager gathered us together and told us that our restaurant would be moved to somewhere in Southeast Asia. The car was already waiting for us at that time,” head waitress Choe Hye Yong recalled, noting that by the time she learned they were headed to South Korea, she only had limited time to “warn” everyone.
“We would never leave our parents, country and leader Kim Jong-un. None of us would ever do that,” said a waitress named Han Yun Hui.
According to Choi Seong-yong, "North Korea locked the families of the defectors up and forced them to take ideological education at a training facility in Myohyang Mountain, in the northern part of the communist country."
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters, Damir Sagolj