[Photos] As fence goes up, Chinese villagers face 500 RMB fine for aiding defectors

Kim Seong Hwan  |  2016-10-24 16:47
The North Korean authorities have drastically tightened border security to block defections in the wake of recent flooding in North Hamgyong Province. At the same time, the Chinese government is also working to block defectors and has begun rebuilding a barbed wire fence that was damaged by the floodwaters.     

The Chinese government has assigned evening work to residents in the border areas in order to expedite the fence reconstruction. This indicates a level of high priority for the project. The government has also erected banners in the border region warning that residents who assist defectors will be fined 500 RMB (approximately U.S. $74). Residents are openly discouraged from coming into contact with defectors. 

In a telephone conversation with Daily NK on October 19, an inside source from China said, In Chinas Longjing City, Kaishyan Village, local residents are working night shifts to rebuild a barbed wire fence. The fence on the Chinese side was totally destroyed during the recent flooding. The authorities are hoping to block attempted defections by reconstructing the fence as soon as possible. 
 
When asked about the atmosphere in the area, the source noted, Theres been a lot of upheaval lately. Since the order came down, weve been quite busy. Plenty of Chinese people living in these areas are concerned that a large number of North Koreans will cross the border and commit crimes. 

The Chinese authorities appear to be responding with a sense of urgency in order to prevent potential security issues associated with an increased number of defectors. 

Another Chinese source in the area said, The Chinese authorities are prioritizing these kinds of projects in areas that have a high possibility for defector surges. Because North Koreas economic situation has deteriorated in the border regions, there has been a steady stream of so called livelihood crimes from North Koreans who cross the river. The Chinese government is taking proactive measures to try and stamp out this trend.  

Daily NK has acquired images of signs on display in Kaishyan Village that warn of fines for local residents who aid defectors. Other signs encourage residents to give up their possessions quickly if threatened with violence by defectors.

In the past, we have heard of some shocking stories about Chinese and North Korean border guards working together to smuggle drugs into the country. Residents are concerned about this type of criminal activity reoccurring, the source added.

These days, Chinese residents generally agree that its best to just quickly hand over your possessions if threatened by a defector. But most draw the line at providing shelter for the defectors; that is something most people wont do. 

*Edited by Lee Farrand

 
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