North Korea’s Kim Jong Un wages defector crackdown

Imagine if you can, living in a place so awful, you would risk death at high odds to sneak into China for a better life.

L.A. Times:

New North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered border guards to shoot down would-be defectors, media reports said.
REPORTING FROM SEOUL -– In North Korea, a new Kim may be in command but the same old human rights violations are still in play, including a renewed lethal crackdown on defectors, according to South Korean media reports.

Weeks after 20-something Kim Jong Un assumed power following his father Kim Jong Il’s sudden death by heart attack last month, border guards have begun shooting down would-be defectors who try to flee the impoverished nation, the reports said.

Three people who tried to flee the repressive regime were reportedly killed in recent days as they tried to cross the Yalu River along the Chinese border, part of a policy of tightened border controls that Pyongyang is enforcing after Kim Jong Il’s Dec. 17 death.

Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea has pledged to hunt down and imprison, or even kill, three generations of family left behind by escapees, successful or not, according to Seoul’s Joongang Daily newspaper.

North Korea watchers say the younger Kim may fear that a rise in defections could destabilize his fledgling hold on power as officials across Pyongyang’s security apparatus jockey to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime’s new strongman.

“There was nothing like the eradication of three generations in the Kim Jong Il era, but now it’s happening under Kim Jong Un,” an unnamed official told the newspaper.

The crackdown is seen as part of Kim Jong Un’s attempt to consolidate his power and show backbone to the high-ranking generals of the nation’s 1.2-million-troops-strong military who once revered his father –- officers old enough to be the younger Kim’s grandfather.

“Obviously it is getting much harder to defect,” Do Hee-yoon, a member of the Citizens’ Coalition for the Human Rights of Abductees, told the Korea Times newspaper.

The JoongAng Daily said Kim Jong Un ordered “immediate executions when people are caught trying to cross the borders.” There were also reports that Kim gave the order to a special security squad of the Korean People’s Army under his direct control, authorizing them to shoot defectors on the spot.

The reported killings are the first fatalities since Kim Jong Un, now hailed as North Korea’s “Supreme Leader,” ordered the borders closed after his father’s death.

There were other signs apparently designed to persuade North Koreans to take their new leader seriously despite his youth.

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

3 Replies to “North Korea’s Kim Jong Un wages defector crackdown”

  1. I used to have a roommate who was a communist. I remember asking him once, “If communism is so wonderful, why are people imprisoned within their communist countries, never allowed to venture out into foreign lands? Why have so many risked life and limb to escape these communist Utopias?” He didn’t have an answer for me. I will NEVESr understand communism or Islam.

  2. “Imagine if you can, living in a place so awful, you would risk death at high odds to sneak into China for a better life.”

    I’ve been there myself and it was no worse (in fact a lot better) than many of small oil rich Muslim states I’ve traveled to and a number of other places (including the Philippines). Food and booze aplenty, freedom of movement, nice girls and a general desire by people to improve themselves. There are a lot crappy things too like internet censorship, and corruption but they are decades ahead of their main rival, India (which is supposed to be democratic and free). Of course North Koreans want to escape to China…if you’re neighbours had tons of food, money, booze and things to do and see you’d pay them a visit too.

    North Korea is a disaster and an embarrassment to China (who supported them in the past but has moved on past the personality cult leader and his heirs – when Mao died half his cronies were put on trial, including is wife) but China is still kowtowing to Communism and so has to keep face by standing with North Korea. We can only hope China becomes Nationalist one day…



  3. The border with China is not fortified to the same degree that the one with South Korea is, this is the only reason they are fleeing north instead of south. Watch for both Korea and China to have massive unrest over the next few years.

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