Friday, August 23, 2013

Double-Crossing on the Border (north Korea)

More indications of problems.  The additional incentives for guards to double cross smugglers and defectors likely indicates the regime's fear of losing control on the border.  I think it is also interesting that Soldiers might still be obsessed with getting Party membership.  I think we should recall that the military and security services are made up of mostly those from the wavering classes of society (see Robert Collins' work on Songbun at the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea).  But the final paragraph should give us some hope (however slight) because it illustrates some resistance potential and it is this mindset that will ultimately create the resistance necessary for change and if properly supported people with this attitude will be important during the unification process.

However, the source pointed out that the current policy will have an effect on people who trade in smuggled goods, but that ultimately people will find a way to circumvent the problem. “They think we cannot compete with the soldier who is obsessed with party membership,” the source explained, “but we say ‘if this is how you decided to treat us, we will find our own way to stand up to it.’”

Double-Crossing on the Border

By Kang Mi Jin
[2013-08-23 12:56 ]
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Although there is still plenty of smuggling taking place in North Korea with the active collusion of border guards, there have recently been a number of cases in which border guards double-crossed their links, reporting on them in order to obtain alternative benefits.

A source from North Hamkyung Province told Daily NK about one case yesterday, “Earlier this month a group of people tried to defect across the Tumen River near Hyesan. The moment they tried to cross the river they were arrested by border guards.”

“A guard who had promised to help them didn’t show up; indeed, I heard it was him who reported them,” she explained.

The source then went on, “The soldier who was suspected of reporting them received a vacation from his unit and went home. People are very resentful. They wonder how someone could do that, no matter how obsessed with getting Party membership he may have been.”
(Continued at the link below)

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