Four South Korean journalists 'sentenced to death by North Korea over book review'

Four South Korean journalists 'sentenced to death by North Korea over book review'

The journalists reviewed North Korea Confidential

Thursday, August 31, 2017

North Korea state media claims the country has sentenced four South Korean journalists to death over insulting book reviews.

The journalists were reviewing a new Korean edition of North Korea Confidential, which was written by two British journalists based in Seoul.

The reviews were published in conservative newspapers The Chosun Ilbo and the Dong-A Ilbo, according to The Straits Times.

Those sentenced to death include one journalist from each newspaper and those in charge of both news outlets.

The book itself discusses the effect of the market on people's lives in North Korea, such as South Korean TV dramas being spread on the black market.

In the book it is claimed that anyone found to be holding copies of South Korean TV dramas can use bribery to get out of trouble.

The Korean edition has been named Capitalist Republic Of Korea and the cover includes a dollar sign rather than the red star in the North's coat of arms.

The Central Court in North Korea said that, purely by reviewing the book, the journalists "committed a hideous crime of seriously insulting the dignity of the DPRK" and claimed it was part of a "sordid smear campaign."

The official Korean Central News Agency reported: "They have reached the state of slandering and insulting even the inviolable name of our country and its national emblem.

"The criminals hold no right to appeal and the execution will be carried out any moment and at any place without going through any additional procedures."