For the first time, North Korean border guards reportedly crossed over into China and shot five North Koreans trying to flee the country. The Independent reports:
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that border guards chased seven refugees across the river into China, before opening fire.
“Five of them died instantly under intensive gunfire by North Korean border guards who had run after them and the two others were wounded and taken to the North,” the paper said.
The reports said the guards dragged the bodies and the injured back over the border with the permission of Chinese authorities.
The seven had left Hyesan in Yanggang province and walked across the frozen Yalu River and reached the Chinese side on 14 December, the paper reported, quoting a high-level source in Changbai in the Chinese province of Jilin.
This is the first time in years that there have been reports of defectors being shot. North Korean border guards have never before shot defectors once they had reached the Chinese side of the border.