North Korean soldiers
North Korean soldiers seen walking near Namyang, North Hamgyong Province. / Image: Daily NK

A government courier relaying sensitive documents was attacked by six soldiers on the road from Pyongyang to Pyongsong in July, leading military authorities to take harsh measures against the perpetrators, Daily NK sources reported on Wednesday.  

The courier was affiliated with the 8th General Bureau of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces (KPISF) in Pyongyang. The KPISF is under the Ministry of People’s Security (MPS), which functions as North Korea’s national police agency, but is similar to a national guard and uses ranks similar to the Korean People’s Army. 

The perpetrators were from a military unit near Pyongsong and evidently attacked the courier to steal money. 

The courier unsuccessfully fought back against the soldiers to prevent his documents and gun from being taken. During the struggle, the courier’s front teeth were knocked out and he suffered injuries all over his body. After discovering the courier had no money, the soldiers destroyed the documents in his possession, Daily NK sources said. 

Sources were unable to say what kind of documents the courier was carrying. 

In response to the incident, higher-ups in the military moved to arrest the six attackers and announced that from then on couriers should travel in pairs to avoid similar attacks. 

“Military officials took the incident very seriously because the courier’s weapon was abandoned at the site of the attack and his documents were torn up,” one of the sources told Daily NK. 

Top military officials have also ordered that couriers carry loaded guns to protect themselves, another source said. 

“Military officials have ordered that the six attackers be severely punished under military law,” the source added.

Daily NK recently reported that soldiers in North Hamgyong Province have increasingly targeted private plots of farmland to steal crops and sell in local markets for money.

*Translated by Violet Kim

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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to