It has been stated in a South Korean newspaper, JoongAng Ilbo, that around 80 people have been publicly executed in North Korea. The executions may have been carried out to quell unrest and stop capitalist ideology from growing, as they took place in areas of recent economic growth.
Some of the deaths may also have been a punishment for the perceived crimes of watching South Korean movies, distributing pornography, using prostitutes and possessing Bibles.
On November 3, in Wonsan, Kangwon Province, 10,000 people were ordered to Shinpoong sports stadium and forced to watch eight people, who were tied to stakes with sacks over their heads, being killed by machine guns.
The source cited by the South Korean paper, narrated, "I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were riddled by machine-gun fire that they were hard to identify afterwards."
Other executions took place in Chongjin in North Hamgyong Province, Sariwon in North Hwanghae Province and Pyongsong in South Pyongan.
North Koreans are forced to adhere to the Juche ideology - a doctrine which mixes Marxism with the worship of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and his descendents. But for the past seven years, an American presacher has been releasing hydrogen balloons carrying bundles of Bibles into North Korea. There are approximately 100,000 Christians in North Korea, according to some sources.