A handful of the world’s industrialized democracies – including the US, Japan, and Taiwan – still have laws permitting the death penalty. But of that short list, only one nation has a moratorium on state-sanctioned execution: South Korea.
South Korea has not executed anyone since the end of 1997, when 23 people were put to death. The moratorium was enacted in Feb. 1998 by Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President Kim Dae-Jung, who himself had been sentenced to death by a South Korean military court in 1980. (His prison term was suspended two years later).