China executes S. Korean drug offender for 1st time in 9 years

China executed a South Korean drug offender Friday for the first time in nine years, an official at Seoul's foreign ministry said.

The official expressed regret over the execution, which was conducted in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, despite Seoul's repeated calls for clemency.

China notified South Korea of the execution in advance through diplomatic channels, the official said.

The man was arrested in China in 2014 on charges of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to death by a district court in 2019, and a higher court finalized the ruling in November 2020, according to the official.

He was known to have been in possession of 5 kilograms of methamphetamine when arrested. In China, those caught smuggling, selling, transporting or producing over 1 kilogram of opium, or more than 50 grams of methamphetamine or heroin can face the death penalty, life imprisonment or a minimum of 15 years in prison.

"The government regrets, from a humanitarian perspective, that the execution took place on one of our nationals," the official said.

The South Korean government had requested Beijing reconsider or delay carrying out the execution numerous times, all to no avail, according to the official.

Source: Yonhap News Agency