Politics: North Korea reportedly replaced its border guards after a soldier’s dramatic defection

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Following the dramatic defection
of one of its soldiers, North Korea has reportedly replaced all its
border security guards, according to an intelligence source in a Yonhap News Agency report.

“Signs were detected that North Korea has replaced all
border security officials following the defection,” the intelligence
source said. “Given this situation, commanders of the responsible
military unit and senior officers might have undergone punishment.”

North Korea frequently punishes those who draw ire from its leaders, particularly Kim Jong Un, and is rumored to hand down strict sentences or use over-the-top methods to execute them.

The intelligence source noted that North Korea appeared to
have temporarily closed the bridge the defector used to make his escape.

North Korean forces were also seen planting two trees and digging a trench at the path the defector used to escape, according to a top US diplomat in South Korea.

On November 13, the defecting soldier,
identified by his family name “Oh” and believed to be 24-years-old,
started his escape by driving a jeep towards the Military Demarcation
Line, the line dividing North and South Korea. Driving at a high rate of
speed, the jeep’s wheel reportedly came loose and the defector was
forced to complete the escape on foot after the vehicle ran into an
obstruction.

Footage from cameras show several North Korean soldiers
frantically responding to the incident and firing their weapons towards
the defector. The defector was shot at least five times and eventually
rescued by South Korean forces. South Korean doctors said his condition
was stable and that he was making a steady recovery.

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