SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's spy agency has told lawmakers that North Korea executed at least two people, banned fishing at sea and locked down its capital as part of frantic anti-coronavirus steps.
South Korean lawmakers cited the country's National Intelligence Service as saying that North Korea executed two top officials earlier this year. One of those killed was a high-profile money changer who North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held responsible for a falling exchange rate amid the pandemic. The second official was executed for violating government regulations that restrict goods being brought into the country from abroad.
In addition, Kim recently placed Pyongyang and Jagang province under lockdown as COVID-19 spreads in the country. He's also banned fishing and salt production at sea to "prevent seawater from being infected with the virus," lawmakers said.
Kim's government also ordered diplomats overseas to refrain from any acts that could provoke the United States because it is worried about President-elect Joe Biden's expected new approach toward North Korea.
One lawmaker cited the agency as saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displaying excessive anger and taking irrational measures over the pandemic and its economic impact.