The individual presumed to be a North
Korean defector shot dead by Chinese military on June 11th in the Jilin
Province of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, which borders North
Korea, was not a soldier but a North Korean civilian, Daily NK has
“Two North Koreans were caught by the
Chinese military as the former were crossing the Sino-North Korean border. The
Chinese military opened fire when the two men refused to be apprehended and ran
away. One died on the spot, and the other one ran away,” a North Korean source
in China informed Daily NK on the 14th.
A legion of Chinese soldiers has been
dispatched to ferret out the runaway, he said. There is yet no news of the
detention of the individual still at large, but the source surmised his apprehension
to be imminent, given the number of solders mobilized for the cause.
The shooting took place in Helong, the site
of a host of incidents involving North Korean soldiers crossing over into China,
looting homes and murdering Chinese nationals in the process. After a soldier
with the 27th brigade in Chongjin City, North Hamkyung Province deserted his
post and crossed the small district of Nanping located in Helong City, part of the
wider Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, killed four Chinese citizens and
injured another back in December– followed by a similar incident reported in April–the
Chinese authorities upped the ante by deploying additional national border
units to tighten security in the region.
“As there have been consecutive cases in which
North Korean defectors entering China and killing Chinese citizens, the Chinese
authorities have put out a mandate ordering police to shoot any illegal border
crossers from North Korea refusing arrest,” he explained.“The Chinese military
authorities have verbally informed North Korean authorities about this several
The most recent in this string of incidents
is likely to result in even tighter vigilance on the Sino-North Korea border,
compounding the already harrowing circumstances North Koreans face when
attempting to flee the country.
Meanwhile, on the day of the incident,
Helong City authorities released information on the shooting via Weibo, China’s
Twitter variant. North Korea and China maintain a tacit agreement to first
discuss incidents of this nature before directly releasing information to the
public; China’s decision to sidestep talks with the North on the matter is exceedingly rare, understood as a move aimed at conveying a strong message to Pyongyang.
*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.