DPRK trying to crack down on defections

According to the Daily NK:

North Korea’s National Security Agency (NSA) is trying to use smugglers to crack down on defectors, an inside source has revealed to The Daily NK.

The source from Yangkang Province told a Daily NK reporter on Tuesday, “The Yangkang provincial NSA office has ordered smugglers investigated recently to report those who cross the river for the purpose of going to South Korea.”

In many border regions, smugglers play the role of brokers in river-crossing defections. As of late November this year, the commission earned by a smuggler for facilitating a river crossing was about 4000 to 6000 Yuan per person. For 500 to 1000 Yuan, the smugglers were willing to convey goods back across the Yalu River, too.

The source said, “About two hundred people convicted of smuggling were called in by the NSA,” explaining that they were told, “If they report river crossers to the NSA, the NSA promised to guarantee their smuggling activities.”

The reason for the new policy, the source also explained, is that “while the government keeps strengthening border controls and orders punishment for river crossers, the number of defections is not decreasing, so they have formulated a new plan. It has met with modest early success; on December 16th, three people who were crossing the Yalu River from Huchang to Changbai (China) were arrested by the NSA.”

However, the source pointed out, “Since some smugglers are cooperating with the NSA now, the number of river crossers might decrease for a while, but it will come back to normal. Those smugglers who report to the NSA will lose customers, and those who don’t will have more.”

Read the full story here:
Smugglers Told to Shop Defectors
Daily NK
Kang Mi Jin


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