Daily NK has learned that the family member of a security agent was recently murdered in Hoeryong.

According to a Daily NK source in North Hamgyong Province, a woman identified by her family name of Kim — the wife of an agent of the local branch of the Ministry of State Security in Hoeryong — left her house at around 10 AM on Sept. 28 after receiving a phone call from an unknown individual. Three hours later, she was discovered dead.

The individual on the phone told Kim that her mother had an emergency, and that she should come to a place in front of the local zoo with KPW 20,000. She quickly collected the money and went to the spot.

When she failed to return home by lunchtime, her husband called his mother-in-law to ask if his wife was still there. His mother-in-law told him she had made no phone call to her daughter, nor had her daughter visited her.

Sensing something was wrong, the security agent immediately informed the city branches of the Ministry of State Security and Ministry of Social Security. Ultimately, however, Kim was found dead. Her mangled body was reportedly stuffed in a burlap sack and left near the zoo.

Hasambong, North Hamgyong Province, in early June of 2019. / Image: Daily NK

“The criminal has yet to be caught, but locals are saying it looks like somebody with a grudge against the agent took their revenge against his family,” said the source. “This is because there are many resentful locals since they have suffered such indescribable harm due to the excessive loyalty of the Ministry of State Security and its agents.”

Security agents watch people who fail to tow the political and ideological line and weed out spies to protect the regime. Agents are stationed at the provincial, city, county and even village level. They are deployed to government institutions and workplaces as well, where they watch over and crack down on the people.

In border areas such as Hoeryong, Ministry of Security agents have recently arrested many residents for using Chinese-made mobile phones to make overseas calls. Many of those arrested are publically tried or sent to political prison camps on charges of espionage.

In particular, the source said since agents not only punish the offender, but also exile their families, a growing number of aggrieved, disgruntled locals await opportunities to take revenge.

“With the border closure lasting over a year, locals cannot bear it any longer,” said the source. “Security agents know this full well, but are still harassing and mercilessly punishing locals in the name of controlling and observing ideological tendencies. So, [that is why these acts of revenge] are taking place.”

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