North Korea has been executing its political prisoners and unwanted elite by firing squad for decades. But a shot to the heart apparently isn’t brutal enough for Kim Jong Un, who’s reportedly using anti-aircraft cannons to kill dissidents, according to at least one watchdog group.


The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and All Source Analysis Inc. (a company that specializes in Image Intelligence), say the picture below, taken on October 7 last year of a military training range about 12 miles north of Pyongyang, proves that the country is now using anti-aircraft heavy machine guns for executions.

At this small arms firing range, half a dozen ZPU-4 towed anti-aircraft guns can be seen lined up in a row about 30 feet from a viewing area. Behind the guns are said to be personnel and other equipment, while military trucks, a trailer, and a bus can be seen parked on a nearby driveway. Beyond the guns muzzles, at a distance of about 100 feet, are said to be a row of people lined up waiting to be killed by the AAA guns turned executioner’s tool.

The report accompanying the photo above offers a solid analysis that highlights how they came to the conclusion that the satellite caught this high-level human slaughter. This included a comparative analysis of pictures taken days after the horrific satellite image was snapped.


It doesn’t take a military analyst to look at a ZPU-4 and realize that there is no reason anyone would be playing target practice at a hundred feet on a flat plane with such a weapon, especially against a backstop rated for pistol and light rifle fire.

Horrifically creative forms of execution – all of which are a public affair to various degrees –have been a cottage industry in North Korea’s political machine for many decades. Having prisoners try to escape falling mortars and even using flame-throwers on supposed dissidents have also been reported during the last three iterations of the “Kim Dynasty.”


The most recent execution via mortar round was supposedly the result of a very literal interpretation from a 2012 order given by Kim Jong Un to execute the Vice Minister of the Army in a way that “no trace of him would be left behind, down to his hair,” at least according to state-ran media. O Sang-hon, a minister at the Ministry of Public Security was recently executed by flame thrower as a result of helping higher-up power brokers in the Party keep their “illegal” business transactions secret. Oh and those guys that had the business transactions to keep secret in the first place, including long-time high ranking bureaucrat and Kim Family confidant, Jang Song-taek? They were all executed as well by various horrible means.


Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address

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