North Korea has executed three women for circulating a South Korean television drama, UPI reported Wednesday, citing a source. The three women were pronounced guilty for making copies of the show.

The women resided near Hyesan University of the Arts in the northern Ryanggang Province and were detained by police officials for recording the South Korean drama, which is based on a true story of a North Korean dancer who defected to the South in the 1990s, according to UPI. The show reportedly has real-life depictions of North Korea and talks about the disproportion between the country's elites and other residents.

A report in July said that North Korea has executed 1,382 people over the last 15 years under the leadership of Kim Jong Un. The executions were allegedly conducted for reasons, ranging from watching films to smuggling drugs. The findings are part of an annual report from the Korea Institute for National Unification, a South Korean think tank, and consist of accounts from defectors between 2008 and 2014.

According to the report, the number of people executed in the reclusive country reached its peak in 2008 and 2009, when 160 and 161 people were killed, respectively.

North Korea has said earlier that it executes prisoners only in extreme cases. "The North claimed that it has handed down capital punishment in very limited cases, but it has carried out executions in cases of a wide range of crimes," the report said.

In 2013, two college students were reportedly executed in North Korea for watching South Korean pornography in Hyesan. Later that year, three more people were executed for trafficking methamphetamine. According to reports this year, the North Korean leader also executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek in 2013. In April, a report, which cited a South Korean spy agency, said that Kim had executed 15 senior officials in 2015.