Two North Korean families from North Hamgyong Province’s Musan County have recently escaped the country, despite amped up border control and strict orders to clamp down on undesired incidents ahead of a milestone Party anniversary in October, Daily NK has learned. 

“At the beginning of last month, not even one month after Kim Jong Un had handed down a mandate to ensure not even the most minor of incidents occur during the 100-day run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Party’s foundation, two families or eight people in total escaped the country causing mad panic among the local border patrol force,” a source from North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on Wednesday. 

The incident is seen as a ‘major political incident’ by border agents, and the military’s security and safety units. Despite a massive search for the defectors, none of them been found, he said. Daily NK cross-checked this news with an independent source in North Hamgyong Province.   

The escape is of greater concern, following Kim Jong Un’s orders to treat even the smallest occurrences as ‘political cases’, said the source. “The day after the escape, the leader ordered forces to seal off Musan’s entire border area running along the Tumen River with barbed wire, sparking up tension in the region,” the source explained. 

“Through the customs office, the Musan security unit asked China’s police force to launch a search, but they haven’t been apprehended yet,” he explained. Security officials believe the escape was orchestrated with the help of people the two families knew in South Korea, given that they managed to escape together, according to the source. He added, authorities are twiddling their thumbs, as they are well aware the escapees would already be heading to the South instead of risking their lives by lingering in China. 

“In order to put up the fence, border agents need to wrap up their summer training currently underway and start putting up the fence in areas other than those that are already sealed off for being popular escape routes,” the source said. “The order is from the leader, so it’s likely that all state-run factories under the military will be mobilized to provide everything from cement, steel, and barbed wire.”     

He went on to speculate that taking such great risks knowing if caught all family members would be wiped out signals people have no expectations for the future of Kim Jong Un’s leadership. 

Predictably, "this incident has led to stricter surveillance on families of defectors who are already living on edge,” he said. “Agents from safety and security units are stopping by their homes day in and day out and asking whether people are exchanging contact with the other side (South Korea).”

                                                                                                                                                                         (Daily NK)