Another N Korea soldier has successfully risked his life to escape to the South, bringing the total to four this year. His family will likely pay a heavy toll, some tortured or executed
Contradicting the logical conclusions driven by his appearance, Kim Jong-un does not like to be humiliated, particularly when it comes to matters of his power and rule over his nation.
The idea that anyone would want to leave his austere N Korean “paradise” is seen as a personal insult. When it’s international news, particularly in the media of his nemesis, the United States, it’s sure to draw a significant and unpleasant response.
The latest run for freedom was not captured on video as was one five weeks ago. It took place under cover of a thick fog. The young man, in his teens or early twenties seized the opportunity created by the weather and ran for freedom. The report says the fact that there have been four defections this year by soldiers is raising questions about the conditions inside Kim’s army.
The reporter says that as the defector ran across the demilitarized zone he was tracked by North Korean troops which were brushed back by warning shots from South Korean troops. Retired General Marks says they probably heard movement, they thought it was their soldier, and fired, attempting to bring him down. [[VIDEO BELOW]]
They note that in order to make his escape the defector likely also had to evade landmines, barbed wire and electric fencing. He’s presently in custody in South Korea, undergoing interrogation.
Hardships are impacting the military as well as the regular civilian population and that is seen as a probably reason behind the four defections this year, with soldiers forced to hunt, grow or steal their own food.
They note that the defector’s family is now in jeopardy of retaliation. Suzanne Scholte of the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea says, “They will most certainly be persecuted. First of all they will be under extreme surveillance, they will be dragged in for questioning.”
She notes that “If there is any indication that they knew that their family member was going to escape they could be executed, sent to a political prison camp, but they will definitely suffer for this.”
His superiors within the military will likely also pay a heavy price, with his superiors removed from command, tortured and possibly executed. They note that the South Korean military has been broadcasting news of last month’s defection over loudspeakers at the DMZ to discredit Kim among the military and entice more defections.
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