[imText1]10 of the 20 border guards who defected to China last Feb 4th are known to have been arrested by groups led by North Korean authorities and are currently being held in custody waiting return to North Korea.
A North Korean inside source informed on the 20th, “10 of the border guards who defected have already been arrested and escorted back to North Korea” and “It seems that the punishment for these defectors has already been ruled.”
He said “Of the arrested, it seems that a decision has been made to punish the guard in the highest position to open fire.”
More recently, North Korean authorities dispatched a team of investigators from the National Safety Agency to China, in order to arrest the defected guards and have been conducting operations in collaboration with the Chinese National Security Bureau. The whereabouts of the remaining defected guards has yet to be known.
The source said “At present, regulations around the border regions and provincial districts have intensified severely and armed soldiers monitor all transportation and persons.”
He said that the recent incident had tightened control all over the nation to the point that even government vehicles are now individually inspected before passing through each province.
“Armed soldiers are conducting inspections on all government vehicles traveling from Pyongyang to Hamheung, Hyangsan and Shinuiju. Until now, a person traveling in a government vehicle could pass through without any checks” he said.
In North Korea, in order to travel via car an application to use the car needs to be submitted to the Protection Agency stating the destination and purpose of the trip, and then a “permit” received.
In addition to this, if a local car is to enter Pyongyang, another permit needs to be obtained from the Protection Agency and the exact number of passengers stated.
On the other hand, government vehicles including those used by authorities, ministries, safety and protection agents could normally travel freely to any part of the country, with the exception of the border regions and the Armistice line. Also, it is easy to recognize a governmental vehicle because of the number plate. Hence, in the past it was common practice that soldiers and safety agents did not exert control over these cars.
“Undeniably, there is tension around the areas of the border and this has trickled inland. Business and wholesale traders who need to travel to and fro in order live are feeling extreme uncomfortable.”