Jong-un orders shooting of defectors, sources say
Doesn’t want a single person to flee: Sankei Shimbun
北김정은 잔혹성 보여주는 충격사건 벌어져
|북중 국경 지역. [사진=연합/AP]|
The new North Korean regime led by Kim Jong-un is getting tougher on people trying to defect, according to sources familiar with the country yesterday.
“Kim Jong-un has ordered intensified control in border areas in recent years since he emerged as successor to his father Kim Jong-il,” a defector-turned-reporter at Open Radio for North Korea, a Seoul-based media organization specializing in the North, told the Korea JoongAng Daily. “And now Kim Jong-un is ordering immediate executions when people are caught trying to cross the borders [without permission].”
The Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday that Kim issued an order not to let a single defector get away around Dec. 19, when the North announced the death of Kim Jong-il, citing a source supposedly knowledgeable about the North Korea-China border areas.
The paper said Kim gave the order to a special security squad of the Korean People’s Army under his direct control, and assured them that they were authorized to shoot defectors on the spot.
The U.S.-based Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday that three North Korean defectors were shot dead while crossing the Amnok River (called the Yalu River in China) into China from Hyesan in the North’s Ryanggang Province by North Korean security guards on Dec. 31.
Defections from the North sharply increased in recent years as the country suffered serious food shortages and its people were more exposed to information from the outside world. The cumulative number of North Koreans defecting to the South rose from around 1,400 in 2000 to around 22,000 as of the end of last year.
The reporter at Open Radio for North Korea said the new regime is publicly discussing defection, a once taboo subject, to scare people from trying to flee.
“The government in the North previously tried to minimize the public’s exposure to news of defections, concerned it could encourage more,” the reporter said. “But as the defections showed no signs of stopping, it is now announcing defection cases, telling who defected and describing what kind of punishment they will receive once they get caught.”
An official of another Seoul-based media outlet, Free North Korea Radio, told the Korea JoongAng Daily that the Kim Jong-un regime is now ordering the killing of relatives across three generations of families of some people caught trying to defect.
“There was nothing like the eradication of three-generations in the Kim Jong-il era, but now it’s happening under Kim Jong-un,” the official said.
By Moon Gwang-lip [firstname.lastname@example.org] 한글 관련 기사
[중앙일보]"3족 멸하라" 김정은 진노했다더니…탈북자 3명 사살
지난 연말 북한 주민 3명이 압록강을 넘어 중국으로 넘어오려다 적발돼 현장에서 사살된 것으로 알려졌다.
3일 미국 자유아시아방송(RFA)에 따르면 12월 31일, 40대로 보이는 탈북자 3명이 양강도 혜산 부근 압록강을 건너다 북한 경비병들의 총격을 맞고 숨지는 사건이 발생했다. 피랍탈북인권연대 도희윤 대표는 "넘어오던 사람들은 얼어붙은 강에서 총격으로 쓰러졌다"며 "북한 경비대가 시체들을 끌고 북한으로 돌아간 것으로 확인됐다"고 전했다.
최근 북한이 탈북자 단속의 고삐를 바짝 죄는 것은 김정일의 사망에 따른 주민의 동요를 막고, 후계자 김정은의 권력 승계를 더욱 공고히 하기 위함이라는 분석이다. 김정은이 인민군 최고사령관에 공식 추대되면서 탈북자에 대한 처벌 수위도 점차 높아지고 있다. 중국 내 대북 소식통들은 "국경경비대가 탈북자를 현장에서 사살하는 경우가 종종 있었지만, 요즘처럼 북한 경비대의 단속이 살벌한 적은 없었다"고 전했다. 북한 당국은 국경경비대와 주민과의 유착관계를 끊으려고 근무지를 바꾸기도 했다.
최근 김정은은 김정일 국방위원장 애도 기간에 탈북한 주민들을 `역적`으로 규정하고 "3족을 멸하라"며 진노했다는 사실이 대북매체에 의해 전해지기도 했다.