Japan's Nippon Television Network on Wednesday broadcast what it said were video clips of two public executions which took place in North Korea earlier this month.
It is the first time to witness the firing squad shooting people to death in front of crowds, including the victims' family members, a civic group leader in Seoul said.
North Korea has denied it committed the executions.
``Even though the video clip quality is poor, it is evidence that North Korea is still conducting public executions,'' Han Ki-hong, president of the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights, told The Korea Times.
A North Korea news Web site posted 14 photographs, taken by capturing the video clips, to cover the story for South Korean readers. Han is heading the Internet news media, www.DailyNK.com.
``On this trial at Hoeryong, North Hamkyong Province, the firing squad executed two men identified to be Choi Jae-kon and Park Myong-kil,'' Han said. ``They were accused of trying to defect from North Korea.''
Hoeryong is a northeastern city near the border with China.
The execution was conducted on March 1 after a summary trial of 11 suspects who were indicted for aiding defectors and human trafficking, Han said. The other clip was reportedly showing the execution of a convict in the nearby city of Yuson on March 2.
``The (Pyongyang) regime has restrained itself from conducting public execution over the past two to three years due to the world's strong criticism on its human rights situation,'' Han said. ``But they resumed the practice of shooting people in front of their families. It means the regime is facing more difficulties in controlling the society.''
It is not known who provided the video clips to the Japanese broadcaster. Han said he thinks ``brokers'' might have engaged themselves in a ``deal'' with the television station in Japan.