300 agents dispatched to carry out group defection ‘comparable retaliation’ orders

North Korean agents are said to be closely watching the
movements of South Korean citizens at hotels and airports in China’s cities of
Dandong and Shenyang in Liaoning Province, as well as Yanji City in Jilin
Province, Daily NK has learned. This follows alleged orders from Kim Jong Un to
carry out an act of “comparable retaliation” against what Pyongyang claims to
be Seoul’s group abduction of its workers from a restaurant in China this past
April.

A source in China who is close to North Korean affairs
confirmed hearing of the leader issuing orders to kidnap “multiple times the
number” of restaurant workers that defected to the South. This suggests that
the possibility of Pyongyang abducting South Korean citizens in the border area
of China may be more than an empty threat, and people in those regions should
exercise caution for their personal safety.

This is why state security anti-espionage agents and
abduction agents from the General Reconnaissance Bureau have been dispatched to
the border area, added the source.

“There are at least 300 agents, and this is said to be the
largest ever dispatch in history. They appear to be intently looking for ways
to achieve the goal,” the source said, “by keeping a close watch on flights
headed to South Korea from places like Dandong, Shenyang, and Yanji to settle
on targets.” 

“Their main areas of focus are places popular with South
Koreans, like restaurants and hotels that require passports to be presented by
the customers,” he added. “Even the Chinese public security forces are feeling uneasy
with their conspicuous activity going on in multiple areas.”

The main targets of interest are said to be South Korean
missionaries and aid workers interested in helping North Koreans, as well as
defectors that the North Korean state has labeled as traitors.

“The State Security Department has told [North Koreans in
the area] to accept all the money and all the supplies that [South Korean] missionaries give them,” a different source in China with knowledge of North
Korean affairs explained. “In return, they are asked to report where the
meeting took place and what was discussed. This information can later be used
to abduct people.”

Using these methods, North Korean state security agents are
learning about the daily routines of defectors and their activities, as well as
where missionaries live, person by person, the source said. In order to abduct
an individual while drawing minimal attention to the act, agents spend two to
three years learning about their targets before carrying out the operation, the
source added.

With further reports surfacing about state security and
reconnaissance agents stepping up their activities in the Sino-North Korean
border area, more caution is recommended for South Korean citizens visiting
China.

Seoul’s foreign ministry has already asked the public to
refrain from traveling to or visiting the border area, citing specific and
growing threats of terror from the North. Pyongyang has threatened to retaliate
against the South unless Seoul repatriates the defectors, penalizes those
responsible, and vows to prevent such incidents from occurring again.

One of the most dangerous places to be for a South Korean is
in North Korean restaurants operating within China. “Even if friendly North
Korean female employees are treating you well, it must be assumed that they are
meticulously collecting intel on each client,” a high-ranking defector in the
South said. “It must be remembered that the security ministry is always behind
them,” she added.

Restaurants and other businesses operated by individuals of
Korean-Chinese descent are no exception. Many defectors point out that there is
no shortage of people who have been bought off by North Korean agents in
exchange for information. People should especially be wary of visiting such
restaurants alone, as it is very easy for them to be drugged by employees and
either attacked or kidnapped.

Traders from the North, North Koreans visiting their
families in China on special permits, and defectors who have escaped by crossing the
border rivers should also be avoided. They are said to ask for phone numbers,
the address of where people are staying, and business cards, saying they will
provide helpful information.

“It’s true that after a missionary was murdered in the
border area, the atmosphere has soured,” the head of a North Korean human
rights organization said on condition of anonymity. “We were told by our Chinese supporters to not
approach that area.”

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