Pyongyang: Thirty North Korean officials who were involved in talks with South Korea were executed or died in ‘staged traffic accidents,’ a human rights organisation has claimed.
Amnesty International, in its annual study, claimed that in addition to the 30 who died in purges in 2011, a further 200 were rounded up in January 2012 by the State Security Agency as North Korea carried out the transfer of power from Kim Jong-il, who died of an apparent heart attack in December.
The group claimed that out of those 200, some were apparently executed and the remaining were sent to political prison camps, The Telegraph reports.
The gulag system presently contains an estimated 200,000 people in ‘horrific conditions’, the group said.
According to the paper, North Korea has a habit of executing bureaucrats who are perceived to have failed the regime, even though they are often merely carrying out the orders of higher-ranking officials or members of the ruling family.
The 30 men executed for failing to improve Pyongyang`s ties with Seoul are considered scapegoats for the new low point in inter-Korean ties.
In 2010, Pak Nam-gi, the former head of the finance department of the Workers` Party, was reportedly executed by a firing squad for the catastrophic attempt to reform the impoverished nation`s currency.