A report released by a non-governmental group in South Korea has found North Koreans are being publicly executed for watching South Korean media.
The report released by the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) based in Seoul, reveals the executions take place after charges of small crimes such as theft and watching banned material.
The capital punishments are believed to be handed down to families with a bad history or in an attempt to discourage others from committing such acts.
The report suggests killings take place in schools, marketplaces and on river banks.
At least 375 North Korean defectors were interviewed as part of the report over the past two years, Reuters reports.
Testimonies from some of those defectors suggest executions were normally carried out by shooting but some victims were beaten to death as, "some crimes were considered not worth wasting bullets on," a defector said.
The report aims to create a clearer picture of the scale of abuse from the rogue state on its own people and further detail killing locations and mass burial sites which has not previously been established.
It is hoped that information could be used as evidence for any future attempts to bring the North Korean regime to account for its alleged crimes.
TJWG receives funding for its research from the US-based National Endowment for Democracy, who itself is funded by the US congress.