London: Three people have been executed in North Korea for allegedly selling or eating human flesh, according to a South Korean think tank.
South Korea's state-run Korean Institute for National Unification said that its report on human rights carries information from 230 North Korean defectors who reported seeing the public executions which had been carried out since 2006, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, some of those interviewed claimed the executions were for eating or selling human flesh.
One man was executed for killing and eating parts of a co-worker and then trying to sell the rest at a market as mutton.
Widespread food shortage forced another man to kill and eat a girl three years ago in Hyesan. The third incident of cannibalism was reported in 2011.
A North Korean official who defected to South Korea in 2001 said that about a dozen incidents of cannibalism surfaced in the country as far back as 1999.
The allegations could not be verified because of strict clampdown on information coming out of North Korea.
According to RIA Novosti, in 2006, a father and his son were also shot dead in Doksong town after they were found guilty of cannibalism.
The South Korean institute also reported an account of cannibalism in the northeastern town of Musan in 2011, but did not say whether any punishment followed.
First Published: Monday, May 21, 2012, 18:13