North Korea has publicly executed a citizen for violating "emergency quarantine measures".
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), a citizen in North Korea was executed by firing squad shooting, after the man was accused of smuggling with his Chinese business partners.
The public execution was reportedly ordered in an effort to scare other citizens into strict compliance with the emergency quarantine measures in the country.
North Korea, which shares an 880-mile border with China, claims it is Covid-free but the totalitarian regime has implemented a number of severe lockdown restrictions used to stop the spread of the virus, including a ban on travel between provinces.
Smugglers who make a living bringing Chinese goods into North Korea have been bypassing the border closure between the two countries, which has led to stricter rules being introduced.
"Since the end of November, the Central Committee [of the Korean Workers' Party] have ratcheted up the existing emergency quarantine measures to 'ultra-high-level' emergency quarantine measures," a resident of North Pyongan province, on the border with China in the country's northwest, told RFA's Korean Service this week.
"The public execution happened because the victim was charged with violating quarantine right before the ultra-high-level emergency measures took effect around 20 November. A man in his 50s who tried to smuggle with Chinese business partners was shot as an example on 28 November," the source added.
The source said they did not attend the public execution but discussed it with a witness, who said the shooting was moved away from the victim's home county, near the border, to keep the news from seeping into China.
Citizens are growing increasingly scared of the control measures imposed by the government, a North Pyongan official told RFA.
"While guarding the border seamlessly from the ground, in the air, and at sea, authorities ordered soldiers to shoot anyone approaching the border unconditionally, regardless of who the person is or their reason for being in the area. It is an absolute threat to the border area residents," the second source said.
"The Central Committee's order to sound the alarm means we are to warn the people that those who violate the rules will be executed with a firing squad. Even during the Arduous March in the 1990s, when mass defections continued, the government did not threaten the residents of the border area like this," the second source added, referring to the 1994-1998 famine that killed millions of North Koreans.
The person added that public executions are not a rare method for the North Korean government to scare people into compliance.