North Korean woman murdered in Hyesan

A woman in her 40s was recently murdered by an unidentified assailant in the Hyegang District of Hyesan, Ryanggang Province, and a task force made up local police and members of North Korea’s security agency are currently investigating the crime, Daily NK has learned. 

The woman had reportedly amassed a considerable fortune over time while acting as a remittance broker and smuggler, Daily NK sources reported. 

She was reportedly killed in the early hours of Feb. 5 and was found by a relative later that morning. The relative then reported her murder to the local police. 

A relative who went to see the woman at her house before breakfast told police that the front door of her house was open and discovered her murdered body in the master bedroom. 

Police reportedly found wounds on her head and neck and believe that she was strangled after being hit on the head with an object. 

“Given the brutal nature of the crime and the sensitive period we’re in right now, local police are working together with Ministry of State Security [MSS] agents on the investigation into the women’s murder,” a source told Daily NK. “She was killed five days ago, but they haven’t been able to find any evidence to point to the murderer or a motive.”

Members of Hyesan’s wealthy class are reportedly telling themselves to be careful given that the woman’s murder may have during a robbery.

*Translated by Gabriela Bernal

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Kim Yoo Jin is one of Daily NK's freelance journalists. Please direct any questions about his articles to