North Korean fishing boat captain publicly executed for listening to banned foreign radio: report

A North Korean fishing boat captain was publicly executed by North Korean authorities in mid-October after admitting to listening to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the news service reported.

The U.S.-funded news source reported last week that a man who was identified only by his surname Choi was executed in front of dozens of other captains after admitting to authorities to listening to RFA for more than a decade.

“In mid-October, a captain of a fishing boat from Chongjin was executed by firing squad, on charges of listening to Radio Free Asia regularly over a long period of time,” a North Korean law enforcement official told RFA, according to the news agency.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We know that the captain’s surname was Choi and he was in his 40s. He was working out of a fishery base affiliated with the Central Party’s Bureau 39,” the source reportedly continued. "They publicly shot him at the base in front of 100 other captains and managers of the facility’s fish processing plants. They also dismissed or discharged party officials, the base’s administration and the security officers who allowed Choi to work at sea."

The same official reportedly told RFA that Choi had been turned in to North Korean authorities by a crewman after he had become "arrogant and disrespectful" due to his success as a fishing captain.

Now run by an independent federal agency, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, RFA broadcasts several hours of Korean-language programming including news from around the world across North Korea; a previous iteration of RFA was funded by the CIA.