NK Security Clamps Down on Brokers

Storms of Arrests, Executions Seen

On Nov. 25, one of our local staff members (K-0078) in North Korea sent us a report on the most recent security measures being enacted at the border of Hyesan, Ryanggang-do. In October, North Korea started dispatching special inspection forces from the state security department and the people’s army political department to tighten their border security.

The special inspection forces dispatched from Pyongyang by North Korea’s state security department are expected to inspect the China-North Korea border security in Hyesan, Ryanggang-do, from the middle of October to the end of November.  The major aims of this special inspection include the curtailing of smuggling, the arrest of people using illegal radio signals (specifically, the use of cellular phones in China), and the arrest of brokers whose business is assisting North Koreans to escape.

In addition to the special inspection forces dispatched by the state security department, 70 members were dispatched on Oct. 21 from Pyongyang by the people’s army political department.  These soldiers dispatched from Pyongyang are now handling border security, a job previously done by the border guards with the provincial security department and city security department.

The major reason for dispatching the forces seems to be the rooting out of bribe-based collusive relationships between the border guards, who belong to the provincial and city security departments, and local brokers and black market organizations.  A huge storm of arrests is currently going on, especially because Hyesan is the major route for defecting from North Korea.  It has also been reported to LFNKR that brokers engaged in helping people defect are being summarily executed.

Those being arrested, even should they avoid execution, are certain to be sent to the security departments of their hometowns and subjected to excruciating interrogation.