Seoul condemns North Korea threat to execute South Korean reporters

Owen Kim, Aug. 31, 2017, 9:28 a.m.

South Korea's unification ministry on Thursday strongly condemned North Korea's threat to execute Seoul reporters for allegedly insulting its leadership.

North Korea's Central Court said that it will hand down the death penalty to two reporters and two chiefs of two South Korean conservative newspapers, claiming that they seriously disgraced North Korea's dignity with what it called their false reports.

"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 as soon as the objects are confirmed," a court spokesman was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency.

The Ministry of Unification called on the North to immediately stop such intimidation.

"North Korea's threats in response to journalists' ordinary acts of reporting constitutes a serious violation of freedom of the press and an intervention in the South's affairs," it said. "This does not help an improvement in inter-Korean ties at all. We sternly warn that North Korea should end its threat to our nationals."

   The ministry said that the government remains firm in defending national security and its people's safety.

"The government will take necessary measures to guarantee the safety of South Korean nationals," it added.

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