The ‘Storm Trooper Units’ that have been cracking down on smugglers and defectors alike across the Sino-North Korean border region are set to conclude their work on September 2nd, sources reported today, making it likely that the atmosphere in the region could finally be about to soften.
Inspections by the Storm Troopers, which are known to have forced a number of families into domestic exile in punishment, may have been ended to avoid further clashes with the people in the region, sources believe.
One Yangkang Province source explained today that he had been informed by a cadre related to the unit that “The inspections will finish on September 2nd.”
“I suppose it could be because they aren’t experts that the crackdown process has been so brutal,” the source mused, “They were also completely inflexible, so they incurred the people’s hatred, while the growing levels of resentment were raised with the Party center.”
Reporting the fact that the Storm Trooper Units are to be withdrawn, a source from Onsung added, “Families receiving smuggled goods to sell in the jangmadang who were hit in the investigations wrote letters saying it is unfair and asking what kind of law their actions were governed by… It seems like this had an effect.”
The Storm Trooper Units were dispatched to the border region on the orders of Kim Jong Eun on or around August 4th, charged with reducing levels of smuggling and defection. In the case of Yangkang Province, they apparently sent 50 families into domestic exile in just two weeks; while a further 40 families are allegedly awaiting deportation to rural areas at the time of writing.
According to sources, the units have engaged in heavily ideological meetings on a daily basis, emphasizing their loyalty to the military and inciting competitiveness among detachments which has not helped reduce the severity of their actions.
“In the past, if a person who got caught smuggling just complied with the demands of the person who caught them, then they could easily solve the problem, but now people have to go in for interrogation without exception, and either face domestic exile or imprisonment, so there has been lots of unease,” the Onsung source explained.
It was apparently this perceived inflexibility that really upset many locals, the source went on.
The difference in approach also reportedly caused conflicts with the existing security forces, according to the Yangkang Province source, who gave an example, “In the Uiyeondong area of Hyesan, a metals trader who was under the protection of local forces was caught in a Storm Trooper inspection, so a fight broke out between them.”
As a result, two patrolmen and one of the Storm Troopers were badly hurt and are being treated in hospital, according to the source.
“All big traders work under the protection of the security forces,” the source explained. “Since these people live off bribes paid by the traders, they fight with them on the basis that they are ‘taking away my rice bowl’.”