The Chinese military has reportedly shot
dead a person presumed to be a North Korean defector in the Yanbian Korean
Autonomous Prefecture in its Jilin Province, which borders North Korea.
“An illegal entrant, believed to be a North
Korean defector, was spotted on the 11th in the afternoon. This person was
executed after refusing to follow orders from Chinese soldiers,” Helong City in
Yanbian announced through microblogging service Weibo, according to Chinese
Police authorities are still investigating
the details of this incident. It has not yet been confirmed whether the victim
was indeed a civilian defector or a North Korean solider.
The city of Helong is where North Korean
soldiers, who had defected, ended up killing Chinese locals in the act of
robbery at the end of last year and April of this year. In the wake of these
incidents, Chinese authorities deployed additional troops to the border to
“Both the North Koreans and Chinese are
paying special attention to this incident,” Chinese authorities said. “China
has already filed complaints with North Korea, and police authorities will deal
with the incident in accordance with relevant laws.”
If the deceased turns out to be a regular
citizen (visiting China through proper channels), it could raise further
questions about China’s handling of North Koreans and the plight of those who
do choose to defect through their borders.