Kim Jong-un fury: North Korea vows to crack down on illegal border activities
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A source from the country told Daily NK, a South Korean newspaper focused on issues relating to North Korea, that: “During the meeting, ministry officials made it clear that those causing trouble in border regions were not worth rehabilitating and ordered severe punishments to be delivered without exception.
“The MSS called officials from around the country together at the end of last month for a meeting.”
Daily NK reported it was informed about this situation on June 6.
The ministry reportedly convened the meeting on short notice for the high-level officials.
According to the source, earlier this month, MSS offices in each province conducted “training” with staff ranked section chief or higher at the city or county level.
During the training, security officials have reportedly stressed the importance of harsh punishments for those breaking the law near the border.
MSS officials have stated that the party has ordered that those who break the law and fail to heed its orders “should not be reeducated”.
Instead, they should be “unconditionally” subjected to “harsh criminal sentences”.
Following orders from the party, MSS officials said that “low-level rehabilitative measures” such as being sent to reeducation camps “should be done away with,” and that it is now perfectly acceptable to “hand out severe punishments
They even talk about letting lawbreakers “rot in prison for a long time”.
These rules go alongside other crimes against the state such as smuggling, human trafficking and defecting.
Over the course of the meetings, MSS officials also said that the initial targets of these efforts should be family members of officials who abuse their authority to brazenly commit illegal acts such as using Chinese mobile phones to smuggle goods, transfer money or engage in human trafficking.
Daily NK’s source for this information also told the newspaper that any lawbreakers must now be treated as “political criminals” and they must not be granted “any forgiveness”.
MSS officials at the training also raised concerns that people around the country may become ideologically weak as their lives become more impoverished.
One of the concerned officials said: “We must mercilessly punish citizens who engage in illegal acts or rebel against the state in areas even outside the border region.”
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These meetings may have come from already increasing tensions between itself and South Korea.
North Korea lashed out at South Korea for the second day in a row on Friday, threatening to close an inter-Korean liaison office and calling the South naive to think the North wants dialogue and negotiations right now.
A spokesman for the United Front Department (UFD), which handles inter-Korea affairs, said North Korea would “definitely withdraw” from the liaison office.
This has been seen as the first step in punishing the South for failing to stop defectors from sending leaflets across the border, according to a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.
The liaison office was one of several inter-Korea projects that were implemented during a period of detente between the two Koreas in 2018.
Relations between the two countries have cooled again amid stalled talks over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
It is believed that news of the MSS meeting, last month, is already being spread.
According to Daily NK’s source, people are now being careful to avoid getting caught and made an example of.
“People living close the border will make an effort to use illegal phones less while brokers and smugglers will reduce their activities as well.”
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