SEOUL: Pyongyang has sentenced four South Korean journalists to death for book reviews that insulted the North, state media said Thursday. The Chosun Ilbo and the Dong-A Ilbo, both of them conservative newspapers, reviewed the new Korean edition of North Korea Confidential, a book by two Seoul-based British journalists first published in 2015. By reviewing the book, newspapers “committed a hideous crime of seriously insulting the dignity of the DPRK” as part of a “sordid smear campaign”, the North’s Central Court said. The papers had the “temerity” to carry a picture of the book cover, it added in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. “They have reached the state of slandering and insulting even the inviolable name of our country and its national emblem,” it said. One journalist from each newspaper, and the presidents of both publications were sentenced to capital punishment, it said. “The criminals hold no right to appeal and the execution will be carried out any moment and at any place without going through any additional procedures,” it added.