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China executes two Koreans for drug smuggling

Posted August. 07, 2014 03:43,   


Two Koreans were executed in China on Wednesday on charges of smuggling and selling drugs. It is the first case in China since 2004.

A representative of Korean Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, “Mr. Kim, 56, and Mr. Baek, 45, who had been arrested in Jilin Province, China, in April 2011 and sentenced to death, were executed.” As Beijing informed Seoul that it would also execute this week Mr. Jang, 56, who was arrested for selling 11.9 kilograms of methamphetamine in June 2009, the number of South Koreans subject to capital punishment in China would increase to three in total.

Kim smuggled 14.8 kilograms of meth 14 times from North Korea from 2010 and handed over 12.3 kilograms of meth to Baek, who was suspected for selling it to a Korean organization in China. The two were sentenced to death in the first trial in December 2012 and made an appeal. The original verdict, however, was confirmed in the second trial in September 2013. The Supreme People’s Court of China, the highest court, also did not overturn the verdict.

Immediately after the court decision, Lee Gyu-hyeong, the then Korean ambassador to China, pleaded for mercy to China`s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng and others to exempt the execution on a humanitarian level. Beijing said, however, “We punish both Chinese people and foreigners equally for drug crime and cannot postpone execution for a specific national.” China also executed a Japanese man in his 50s for drug smuggling on July 25.

As the international community criticizes capital punishment in China, Beijing sends a prior notice on the execution to relevant countries and allows a family visit for prisoners on a death row. In 2001, the execution of a Korean man in China escalated into a diplomatic war between Seoul and Beijing, which did not officially inform Seoul of the execution until the last minute of the execution.