The North Korean leadership has shown in recent years that it sees defectors as a key source of potential instability, and wishes to limit their capacity to affect the domestic situation.
In the latest in a long line of similar actions to try and achieve this end, a government source in Seoul told Daily NK on the 9th that Kim Jong Eun recently ordered the security forces to ensure they clamp down on any hint of trouble and submit regular reports outlining the state of popular sentiment.
Kim Jong Eun is even said to have ordered in the second half of last year that “gunfire should ring out loud and far to dig out the roots of defection,” appearing to command that would-be defectors be shot on sight along the border.
According to government sources, the National Security Agency (NSA) and People’s Safety Ministry (PSM), with cooperation from the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, recently sent a team into China to arrest and repatriate defectors and disrupt organizations that support them.
In recent months it has emerged that border guard units on major defection routes now operate a 24-hour patrol schedule. Barbed wire and CCTV have also been installed to prevent defection. Moreover, individual people’s units are being encouraged to keep watch over the households registered with the unit.
The South Korean government announced last month that it also believes North Korea has greatly enhanced the surveillance of North Korean defectors.
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