Why North Korean defections are down – Threatened North Korean border guards

For the first time in 12 years, an average of less than 100 North Koreans now defect to South Korea each month.

A North Korean defector who was a chief border guard in Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province until late 2013, said, “Since Kim Jong-un took power, border guards have been punished for taking bribes from defectors, even if this came to light after they’d already left the job. They became terrified. So bribes no longer worked.”

On the other hand, border guards who capture defectors are rewarded with promotion, Workers Party membership and recommendations to prestigious universities.

Apart from all this, the regime also installed CCTV on popular defection routes and fortified the border with barbed wire.    Read more

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