Six North Koreans executed for trying to sell phonebook abroad
Six North Korean residents were executed at the end of last year on the charge of attempting to leak the contents of a phonebook to the outside world. An inside source explained to Daily NK that the decision highlights the determination of the authorities to maintain internal information security.
“The authorities relayed the message to legal organizations through lecture materials stating that, ‘At the end of last year, six Pyongyang residents who attempted to distribute a phonebook outside of the country were executed.’ The point was emphasized that those who commit such acts can be punished at any moment," a high-ranking source in the capital told Daily NK during a telephone call on April 20.
“The lecture materials explain: ‘A phonebook can be sold for 50,000 yuan in Chinese money (about US $7,950). These individuals chose to commit treason in order to avoid working hard to earn money.'"
The seriousness with which the punishment was enforced is thought to be related to the fact that the crime was associated with Pyongyang, the “Revolutionary Capital” wherein the country’s most loyal subjects supposedly reside.
“The families of the six executed individuals were deported [out of the capital] to the Hwanghae Province area,” a separate source in Pyongyang said.
“The leadership of the country’s party, military, and political leadership is all concentrated in the city of Pyongyang. Many cadres who go in and out of the country also reside in Pyongyang. That explains why the authorities reacted so strongly in order to prevent information about them from leaking out of the country.”
North Korea’s phonebook is considered a secret document. It contains the phone numbers of factories and companies, managers, party chairman, and office numbers, etc. ......