The quantity of surveillance equipment used to monitor the North Korea-Chinese border region has been increased.
An inside source from North Korea said in a phone conversation with the Daily NK on the 7th, “Monitoring cameras made in China have been brought into each border guard unit on both the Chinese and our (North Korean) sides and have been installed at every border crossing as well.”
Another source said, “Guard activities have toughened up on both sides due to the Olympics. Chinese-made nail pegs have also been brought in to set up a trap through which guards can hunt intruders.”
According to the source, the Chinese nails have been found in nail planks used by border guards in Hoiryeong. Since 2003, North Korea has been trying to hinder the smuggling and trafficking of citizens at the North Korean-Chinese border through the reinforcing of guard posts and the setting up of devices such as nail planks.
In the areas around the border, civilians secretly crossing the border have been injured by the planks and subsequently arrested, helping the planks gain recognition as an effective method of enforcement.
However, with the planks falling apart and becoming obsolete from age, Chinese-made pegs have been brought in to aid in the tightened border controls.
The source said, “The Chinese-made pegs have been coated, so they cannot easily rust. However, it is up to each patrol unit to acquire the planks. Members have been going around asking people they know, in search of the planks.”
Along with such crude means of control, the use of high-technology equipment has also been increasing along the North Korean-Chinese border.
Recently, a source from Yangkang Province described the atmosphere, “The Chinese border units have installed more cameras and have repaired the old ones. Nowadays, border patrols have been strengthened from both the Chinese and the North Korean sides.”
In particular, four monitoring cameras have been installed in the area between Hyetan-dong in Hyesan, Yangkang Province and Wiyeon since last June and the number of cameras monitoring the Yalu River area has increased to eight. The source also explained that cameras have been installed at regular intervals even in rural places uninhabited by people.
Furthermore, the acquisition of Chinese nighttime fluoroscopes at the North Korean border posts has greatly enhanced the capacity of the border guards.
The nighttime fluoroscopes previously owned by the North Korean border posts were made in the former Soviet Union and as a result, were bulky in size for effective use. It is relatively easy for the smugglers to avoid detection from such equipment.
However, the Chinese-made nighttime fluoroscopes, with a 100-meter range, are small and highly portable.
The source said, “Despite the increase in inspection facilities, smugglers have been conducting their operations under the protection of border units through bribes, so they are rarely caught. Nowadays though, the number of border guards has increased with the Olympics, so the smugglers have been forced to exercise more caution.”