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U.S. says N. Korea's alleged executions another example of 'extreme brutality'

All Headlines 03:43 October 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's alleged execution of dozens of people this year, if confirmed, would represent yet another example of the communist regime's "extreme brutality," the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

South Korea's main intelligence agency reported to lawmakers this week that the North is believed to have executed some 50 people by shooting for various reasons, including as part of efforts to purge any remaining loyalists to Jang Song-thaek, the executed uncle of leader Kim Jong-un.

"We've seen the press reports regarding the execution of North Korean officials. We don't have independent confirmation from here," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a regular briefing. "But if confirmed, this is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime."

The executions of North Koreans are the latest sign that Kim is instituting a reign of terror in North Korea to help consolidate his grip on power he inherited upon the death of his father and long-time leader, Kim Jong-il, in 2011.

The report of executions also came as the European Union and other countries are trying to adopt a U.N. General Assembly resolution that calls for referring the totalitarian nation to the International Criminal Court for its human rights abuses.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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