Agents working for a unit established in November 2010 to combat ‘anti-socialist activities’ have become mired in corruption just like many other areas of the domestic security forces, Daily NK has learned.
According to an internal source, members of so-called ‘Unit 1118’, which was formed pursuant to Kim Jong Eun’s direct orders and is made up of agents from the National Security Agency and People’s Safety Ministry as well as judicial officials, are guilty of accepting substantial bribes.
The unit’s official role is to limit the spread of illicit recordings and trafficking in illegal drugs, as well as deal with issues of Chinese cell phone and foreign currency use. However, many unit agents are said to be taking advantage of the opportunity for enrichment presented to them instead.
“People who are getting hit by Unit 1118 say that only those people with good connections can pay them off and get out; people without connections cannot escape even if they do try to give money,” the source explained.
”Even a person with good connections is paying $1000 or more to escape punishment,” he added, going on, “They say that these guys are that deep in corruption that if they work as an inspector for a year they can earn around $30-40,000, so people are pretty resentful of the whole thing.”
However, it is not just a question of money. The agents’ untrammeled power also makes them a fearful enemy, the source said, explaining, “To the people, the agents are a source of terror. While using their overweening power to perform inspections, at the same time they sexually harass women, touching their breasts and whatever else. But the women are too scared of punishment to report this kind of violence, so they just take it.”