The Korea Herald


China executes S. Korean for drug trafficking

By Choi Si-young

Published : Aug. 4, 2023 - 19:03

    • Link copied

The flags of South Korea (right) and China (123rf) The flags of South Korea (right) and China (123rf)

China on Friday executed a South Korean national convicted of drug trafficking, despite appeals from South Korean authorities for clemency, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry has announced.

“Chinese authorities just notified us of the execution,” a Foreign Ministry official said at a briefing held the same day. Beijing had informed Seoul of when the execution would take place, according to the official.

The Korean, whose name, age and gender were withheld because the family wants no public disclosure, was arrested for possessing methamphetamine in 2014. The South Korean was sentenced to death after a trial in 2019, and the decision was upheld upon appeal in 2020.

This year, China’s Supreme People’s Court confirmed the ruling and a court in the southern city of Guangzhou carried out the execution.

China, known for its tough stance on drug dealing, last executed Koreans for such crimes in late 2014, when four Koreans were executed for drug trafficking. A Korean national was also previously executed for murder in 2004, while another faced the same punishment in 2001 for drug dealing.

Around 70 Koreans are facing drug charges there, but none are likely to face the death penalty “in the near future,” according to the Foreign Ministry official who held an unscheduled briefing on Friday’s execution.

“The execution has nothing to do with ties between the two countries,” the official added.