Following a recent report that the Ministry of State Security has dispatched agents to the Chinese border regions in order to kidnap North Korean defectors hiding in China, Daily NK has acquired additional information on the hotel in which these MSS agents are staying.
Kim Jong Un ordered internal security organizations last year to “catch the anti-republic’ (North Korea) elements using any means possible. Following this, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), General Bureau of Reconnaissance (RGB), and the Ministry of People’s Security (MPS) have reportedly been arresting North Korean defectors hiding in the Chinese border areas through the dispatch of abduction teams.
Reports suggest that the MSS agents are staying at a certain hotel in Dandong to monitor the movements of North Korean defectors and plan abduction missions. Daily NK has recently learned that these MSS agents are frequently staying at the Life’s Business Express Hotel in Dandong.
“It has been confirmed that MSS agents as well as many North Korean traders and company CEOs have frequently visited the hotel. The MSS agents appear to be staying at the hotel for business, but are instead collecting information on the locations of North Korean defectors and are launching operations to arrest them,” a source familiar with North Korean affairs in China told Daily NK.
The Dandong Foreign Affairs Office (affiliated with China’s Foreign Ministry) is also located in the Life’s Business Express Hotel. Nevertheless, the abduction teams dispatched by the North Korean authorities are openly using the hotel to launch operations.
The source points out that trade workers and company CEOs visiting the hotel should also be treated with suspicion, as RGB agents often disguise themselves as traders or residents in China while dispatched abroad.
While these agents usually target North Korean refugees, they are known to sometimes target Chinese and South Korean citizens who are involved in human rights activities.
The Jiangbin International Hotel in Dandong is also being used as a base for such operations. The abduction teams monitor South Korean tourists by tailing them and eavesdropping on them. When an order is issued, a full-scale arrest operation in cooperation with other abduction teams in the Life’s Business Express Hotel is launched.
▲ Another base for North Korean abduction teams in China, the Jiangbin
International Hotel. Image: Baidu map screengrab
“The abduction teams are even monitoring Chinese and South Koreans who collect information on North Korea’s affairs in order to prevent information leaks. So everyone should act very carefully in the border regions,” said a separate source in China with knowledge of the matter.
Last year, he said, there was a case in which a North Korean defector, tricked by an abduction team, traveled to China from South Korea and was then kidnapped. Daily NK has also learned that a male North Korean defector, who went to China from South Korea to meet with a North Korean trading worker in autumn last year, was kidnapped at the Hushan Great Wall in Dandong.
“The MSS agents often disguise themselves as traders and lure North Korean defectors in China or South Korea with business offers to arrest them. The local atmosphere is very tense as the abduction operations are even being conducted in remote regions away from Dandong as well,” he explained.
Daily NK has recently reported that abduction teams consisting of North Korean MSS agents and some Chinese Public Security officials are conducting large-scale operations in the border areas. The abduction teams are known to be monitoring persons of interest while staying at hotels or restaurants in the border areas and receiving information on the movements of defectors by paying bribes to Chinese Public Security agents.