[imText1]Recently, a platoon of border guards from the district of Hoiryeong escaped to China to avoid the arrest of inspection agency, an inside North Korean source informed the DailyNK on the 4th. North Korean authorities have responded by sending an inspection agency to China in search of these guards.
A resident of Hoiryeong, Lee Jong Sam (pseudonym) who discovered this case informed on the 4th “Recently, about 20 guards from the border city of Hoiryeong escaped to China. So the Security Control Centre under the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces and National Safety Agency the collaborated and dispatched a team to China.”
Lee revealed “The guards who defected where being investigated by the central authority for the suspicion of assisting defectors. They were not guards from the same regiment but sergeants in service at various platoons.”
“These guards were affiliated with the sergeant and vice-commander of a guard post sentenced to capital punishment at the end of this month” Lee said.
The guards escaped to China without carrying weapons and so the Security Control Centre and National Safety Agency collaborated to seek cooperation from Chinese authorities and information intelligence in order to arrest the guards promptly.
Lee added “There is a possibility the defected soldiers will flee to South Korea. In the case the soldiers resist arrest it seems a command was made to shoot them at any cost.”
The Security Control Centre and National Safety Agency inspection teams are known to be conducting manhunts in the region of Changbai, bordering Yangkang, Haesan and Jian near Jagang, Manpo.
On the other hand, North Korean sources in China informed that some of the defected guards had been arrested by the Chinese National Protection Agency and though they had yet to be convoyed back to North Korea, they were under Chinese investigation.
The inspection agency has been investigating rigorously the illegal act of the border guards helping citizens who try to across the border to China.
Until now, border guards have helped citizens escape in exchange for money. In order to evade a destitute life after being discharged from the military, border guards have begun “Guards, accumulate 100,000won (approximately $1,000) campaign” and more recently, as the North Korean currency has depreciated another “300,000won campaign” has been started.
A North Korean source said “The National Safety Agency, sergeants and military commanders in charge of border security copiously spend dollars and Chinese Yuan” and remarked “Of these people, there are some who have earned more than $10,000.”
The majority of guards who assist in escaping are the national safety agents of troops and soldiers of guard posts. It is widely known in the border area of North Korea that it is safer to bribe commissioned officers who require a lot more money for help than do petty officers.