Kim Jong Un’s depravity and abuses of power have no bounds, extending even to North Korea’s upper echelon. The North’s authoritarian regime snatches teenagers out of school to be his sex slaves, forces members of the country’s upper class to watch executions and Kim is perfectly content to eat expensive lunches while his people subsist on grass, a defector told the Daily Mirror this week.
In order to protect the defector, The Mirror did not publish her real name nor the names of her family members, but refers to her as Hee Yeon Lim and states she’s a 26 year old whose father was a senior officer in Kim’s regime. Hee spoke to the British news outlet in a secret location in Seoul, South Korea days after Kim and his regime conducted its sixth nuclear test this month.
Hee claimed supreme leader Kim forces those in the walled-off country’s “upper-class elite” to watch executions, and said she was witness to a mass execution of 11 musicians who were put to death by an anti-aircraft gun shortly after Kim took over for his late father Kim Jong Il in 2011. The musicians were killed over allegedly making a pornographic video, and Hee said 10,000 people witnessed their execution.
Though she was considered privileged compared to millions of the North’s other citizens, Hee was standing 200 feet away from the kill site.
“We were ordered to leave our classes by security men and made to travel to the Military Academy in Pyongyang,” Hee told The Mirror. “There is a sports ground there, a kind of stadium.
“The musicians were brought out, tied up, hooded and apparently gagged, so they could not make a noise, not beg for mercy or even scream,” she said. “What I saw that day made me sick in my stomach. They were lashed to the end of anti-aircraft guns.”
The musicians’ bodies “disappeared” and then tanks ran over their remains “repeatedly,” Hee said.
Over the years, and well before Kim Jong Un came to power around 2011, defectors have managed to escape the North’s violent regime and tell their stories.
Earlier this month, 30-year-old Hak Min recounted the brainwashing tactics used to strike fear into citizens to USA Today. He’s now in Seoul running an iPhone repair shop after defecting in 2013, and instead of Kim’s picture hanging in his shop, he’s put up one of Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose biography has inspired him.
“When they brainwash students in North Korea they say: ‘We can read your words, actions and thoughts,’” Hak said. “If you have bad thoughts about the Kim family they will know. But in the book, Jobs said: Do not let others' thoughts rule over you. Do what you want. Be yourself.”
Defectors have provided significant information about Kim’s regime and helped shed light on the human rights atrocities occurring in the North, but their numbers slipped recently. This week, South Korea reported a recent 12.7 percent decrease in the number of defectors leaving the North to the South between January and August of this year, with 780 fleeing compared to 1,417 throughout 2016.