There was a shooting incident in the Sino-North Korean border region of Yanggang Province, the same place where an armed soldier recently defected across the border. Shockingly, military authorities have not even dealt with the dead body. 

“On Dec. 25, border guards discovered an unidentified person who was crossing over to our side [North Korea] in Sinpa County along the border,” a source from Yanggang Province told Daily NK on Dec. 31. “The guards immediately fired, and the unidentified person died on the spot.

“The person was caught when they were crossing over with a swaddle blanket draped over them,” said the source, who added, “The exact identity of this person is yet to be confirmed.”

Since the end of August, North Korea has implemented a buffer zone of one to two kilometers from the border. They also announced their intention to immediately shoot at any humans or animals that approached these zones. 

It appears that the soldiers fired at the individual in line with this policy.

North Korean soldier secretly defectors
North Korean soldier stationed at the Sino-DPRK border / Image: Roman Harak, Flickr, Creative Commons

In the meantime, military authorities have just left the body where it was instead of dealing with it. 

“The bodies are typically burned, but so far they have not dealt with it,” said the source. “Their inaction seems to be wrought from fears of being infected by the coronavirus from China.”

Although the identity of the person who was shot to death has not been confirmed, the prevalent theory is that he was the “armed soldier that had recently defected.” The assumption is that “after being hounded in China, the soldier decided to cross the border [back to North Korea] at risk to his life.” 

Daily NK previously reported that an armed soldier with the Seventh Corps in Sinpa County had defected to China after being continuously harassed by a higher ranking official.

*Translated by Susan Lee

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