Last Thursday, the Daily NK reported that the North Korean regime is widely enforcing a 'beating to death with a blunt weapon' policy.
Through defectors' testimonies, the Daily NK reported that prison guards are beating prisoners across the head with a hammer or club until their death. An Open Radio for North Korea source explained that the North Korean regime carries out open executions by firing squad in cases where they want to make an example of those participating in actions against the government. However, for general perpetrators, the regime carries out secret executions. Those general perpetrators are not executed by firing squad or hanging but by beatings to their head with a blunt weapon.
The Open Radio for North Korea's source, who is a relative of a former prosecutor from Yangkang’s Prosecutors’ Office, said, "If the regime regards a prisoner as not a valuable target for public execution, then they carry out a secret execution. When they carry out this execution, they generally order a prisoner to wear jihwajok, which are shoes made with wire and old tire, and the moment the prisoner puts on the jihwajok, a prison guard beats the back of the prisoner's head with an iron bar until they are dead."
The source also added that this type of secret execution is well known in North Korea. They continued by saying that when a prisoner dies, a guard folds the dead prisoner at the waist so that they are as compact as possible, and they then put the corpse into a sack and throw it away.
In an interview with the Daily NK, Kim In Sung, the manager of the investigation analysis team at the Database Center For North Korean Human Rights, said that these incidents are not very well known in South Korea but since the end of 1990s there have been some testimonies that have said that these acts were occurring. He also added that these unofficial executions are presumed to be continuing as a means to maintain the North Korean system.