North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has disbanded a military firm protecting portion of the nation’s porous border with China once they neglected in mid-July to discover a North Korean refugee returning home after having spent an unspecified quantity of time away from the country, sources told RFA Tuesday.
The refugee, a native of Chongjin, North Hamgyong province, reentered North Korea by crossing the Tumen river to the state’s Onsong county. He managed to completely sidestep soldiers of their 271st Regiment’s 27th Brigade prior to turning himself into the provincial Security Department.
“The North Korean refugee confessed throughout the safety department’s interrogation he hadn’t been stopped and had no disturbance when crossing the North Korea-China boundary,” a North Hamgyong resident, who asked to not be named for security reasons, told RFA’s Korean Service.
“A military officer stated that the Supreme Commander’s order to disband the device was issued following the incident was reported on the ultimate control,” the source said, speaking to Kim Jong Un by his own army position.
The incident happened around precisely the exact same time as a widely publicized returning refugee episode on July 19, as soon as a guy who had escaped to South Korea in 2017 drifted back into the North throughout the inter-Korean boundary in the neighborhood of his hometown Kaesong.
The state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported that police had announced a national maximum crisis in a July 25 assembly of the Political Bureau, over worries that the guy had attracted the coronavirus together with him.
The town of Kaesong was set on total lockdown, and traveling between states was closed down.
“Sometime around then, the [second] coming refugee incident was reported on the Supreme Command, and also the Supreme Commander levied the powerful punishment of disbanding the troops to increase alarm among the whole military,” the source stated.
In North Korea, people found guilty of crimes aren’t the only ones penalized. Frequently their relatives are sentenced together to be guilty by association.
“Army leaders together with the rank of company commander or reduced were sentenced to over 10 years for failing their responsibilities since combat-ready border guards. They state their loved ones were packed into cars and taken to correctional camps without understanding why,” the source stated.
RFA wasn’t able to confirm if relatives of their organization’s leaders were sentenced to 10 decades, but generally, relatives of criminals are given lighter sentences.
The refugee might have been able to slide by the border guards since they weren’t focused on their tasks as a result of reduced morale, according to the source.
“In years past the border guards could extort cash from smugglers on a normal basis. They could save enough cash to continue for decades following their release from the army,” the source said, adding that because the border closed in January on account of this coronavirus, extortion chances became much scarcer.
“The demoralized soldiers happen to be on duty simply to fulfill their time, and this incident has occurred.”
The other North Hamgyong resident affirmed RFA a firm of this 27th Brigade was disbanded for permitting the refugee to go back across the border unnoticed.
“We are aware that the refugee who arrived back dwelt in Chongjin. He crossed into North Korea without any issues and was staying in his house for 10 times after he turned himself into the provincial safety section,” the second source said.
“They say he’s currently in quarantine as a guessed COVID-19 infectee following being contested. However, the police haven’t said if the refugee had just been to China or when he was coming back after having lived in South Korea, as they’re fearful this info is going to have a negative effect,” the next source included.
The dissolution of this unit could do little to enhance the willingness of additional border guard units, according to the second origin.
“Stories of the comprehensive replacement of whole border guard businesses have been circulating in the aftermath of this episode. But even if they’re replaced, it will not matter until [the authorities] enhance the food situation and cure [the guards] better”
Meanwhile, the sources told RFA that throughout the Political Bureau’s July 25 assembly, the Party’s Central Military Commission discussed the outcomes of an intensive investigation to army units stationed near Kaesong, accountable for its lax security that enabled the July 19 coming refugee event.
Reported by Sewon Kim for RFA’s Korean Service. Translated by Leejin Jun.. Written in English from Eugene Whong.