October 18, 2018

N.Korea Tightens Border Security After Defection

27 November 2017, 03:44 | Rodolfo Wallace

GETTYKim Jong-un left and Choe Ryong-hae are believed to be behind the shake-up

Kim Jong-un

An unidentified source told the South and North Development (SAND), a research institute that works with defectors from North Korea, about the situation in the village of Sindong-ri, located about five miles from the nuclear test site. Military officials said Friday they could not confirm the report.

"North Korea replaced nearly all of its troops, if not all, at the Joint Security Area for their failure to prevent the defection", said Kim Young-woo, chairman of the South Korean National Assembly's defense committee. Knapper tweeted a photo of dramatic video released by the United Nations Command on Wednesday.

The North set up a lockable gate at the so-called 72-Hour Bridge over which the defector drove his jeep to reach the border area.

Choe Ryong-hae
GETTYChoe Ryong-hae seen speaking with Kim Jong-un in a 2012

A senior USA diplomat urged all nations to work together to denuclearize North Korea, saying the recent defection of a North Korean soldier illustrates the cruelty of that regime.

It was a rare defection through the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the two Koreas, where South and North Korean forces stand face-to-face. He was shot five times and is now recovering at a hospital near Seoul where he was operated twice to fix internal organ damage and other injuries. It said officials notified the North's military of these violations and requested a meeting to discuss the investigation results and measures to prevent such violations.

A North Korean soldier was shot and wounded by his fellows on November 13 when he sought to cross the heavily guarded inter-Korean border to defect. He was shot at least four times in his daring bid, and was found by South Korean troops slumped in a pile of leaves just south of the border.

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