China executed on Wednesday two South Koreans convicted of smuggling drugs from North Korea and will soon execute a third, the Yonhap news agency reported, quoting South Korea’s foreign ministry.

It was the first time a South Korean had been executed in China since 2004. The two, identified by their last names Kim and Paek, and aged 53 and 45, were executed despite repeated South Korean pleas for leniency.

They were convicted by a court in the Chinese city of Baishan, in Jilin province, for smuggling 14 kg (30 lb) of methamphetamines from North Korea in 2010 and 2011.
South Korea’s foreign ministry could not immediately confirm details of the case but a spokesman said the ministry was “deeply disappointed”.

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