- Propagandizing the arrest of defectors who gave press conference in Japan
- People in border areas warned not to attempt defection
- Authorities fabricating stories of arrest
Multiple sources reported 28th November that "North Korean authorities are claiming that the group who defected to Japan on October 13th and subsequently gave a press conference publicizing their escape were snatched back and had their throats slit. They are propagandizing that those attempting to flee via the East or West Seas will be arrested by the coast guard."
In particular, the National Security Agency has been busy summoning group meetings of those living in the border areas to warn them of certain arrest should they attempt to leave the country by sea. They are scaring locals with tales of certain arrest regardless of in which direction they try to sail and that all measures will be used as punishment.
People are asking why the group that made it to Japan from the sea around Chongjin would successfully defect and then hold a public press conference drawing attention to themselves and putting themselves at risk of recapture.
A Chongjin source said that "At the time of the mid-nineties arduous march in which millions died people defected abroad in order to find food to eat and survive. Recently, some of the group defections are motivated by the fear of harsh punishment if accused of political crimes."
There have been numerous instances of family groups disappearing and so the security agencies -worried about the possibile effects of news of the escapes spreading- has been attempting word of mouth public control. They have put it about amongst organizations and ordinary people that "such and such a family were caught trying to escape."
"As numbers of group defection rise the authorities like to give the impression that they are all caught and sent to political prisons to nip in the bud defections by others who might be considering it." added the source.
"Meetings have been hosted by the security agencies with organizations and citizens telling of defector arrests," said a security source. "Those meetings are certainly a mixture of true stories and government lies. The whole process raises the people's fear and discomfort levels with the system and society." The group that defected and arrived in Japan on October 13th arrived without hitch in South Korea.
Translation by Danny Lee