SEOUL, May 10 (UPI) -- At least three people have been publicly executed in North Korea in recent years on charges of cannibalism, a state-run institute in South Korea said Thursday.
The Korea Institute for National Unification said in a white paper on human rights in North Korea, to be released next week, that a North Korean man in the northeastern city of Hyesan was executed in December 2009 for killing a preteen girl and eating her flesh, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The institute, citing an interview with a defector last June, said the man resorted to cannibalism because of a lack of food after North Korea's botched late-2009 currency reform caused severe inflation and exacerbated food shortages.
The institute, citing an eyewitness account from a North Korean defector, also said a father and son were fatally shot in the eastern town of Doksong in 2006 on charges of eating human flesh.
The institute reported an account of cannibalism in the northeastern town of Musan in 2011, but it was unknown whether it led to any penalty, Yonhap said.
The news agency said Caleb Mission, a small South Korean missionary group, had released a 2009 North Korean police document that detailed several cases of cannibalism in the country.