Released by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and AllSource Analysis, a US-based image interpretation company, the pictures were taken on October 7, 2014, from above the Kanggon Military Training Area, some 24 kilometres north of Pyongyang.
On a small-arms firing range, analysts have identified six ZPU-4 anti-aircraft guns lined up in front of a viewing area. Behind the weapons are what appear to be a line of troops or equipment, while parked nearby are a number of military trucks, a large trailer and a bus.
In a press release, Greg Scarlatiou, executive director of HRNK, suggests the bus indicates that senior officers or VIPs were on hand to witness what was happening.
About 30 metres down the firing range, and throwing distinct shadows, are a line of what appear to be people.
"The most plausible explanation of the scene ... is a gruesome public execution", said Mr Scarlatiou. "Anyone who has witnessed the damage one single US .50 calibre round does to the human body will shudder just trying to imagine a battery of 24 heavy machine guns being fired at human beings.
"Bodies would be nearly pulverised", he said. "The gut-wrenching viciousness of such an act would make 'cruel and unusual punishment' sound like a gross understatement".'