The people executed were a 45-year-old woman accused of reading a propaganda leaflet and failing to report it and a regional military officer charged with pocketing the money sent along with the leaflets, The Chosun Ilbo reported.
Choi Sung-yong, the head of Family Assembly Abducted to North Korea, said North Korean security services collected about 500 people and forced them to watch the execution.
Choi said the families of the two people were sent to a camp for political prisoners in South Pyongan province.
"We have information from a source that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was going to visit Sariwon in North Hwanghae province soon, and it looks like authorities there held a public execution to warn the people there off any signs of dissent," Choi said. "It seems North Korea is stepping up monitoring and crackdowns on people who read or listen to anti-communist propaganda to ensure the hereditary transfer of power" from Kim to his son Jong Un.
North Korean defectors said people who handle anti-communist leaflet are required to notify authorities, The Chosun Ilbo said.