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27 November 2017, 03:41 | Todd Saunders
How Kim Jong-un reacted to one of his soldiers escaping paints a dark picture of life in North Korea
North Korea has replaced dozens of guards and fortified a section of its border with South Korea following the dramatic defection of one of its soldiers last week, a report said Friday. "Farmers couldn't even think of repairing the damage because they're busy harvesting crops even though three months have passed since their houses were destroyed", the source said.
Meanwhile, the South Korean military is informing North Korean border guards about the defection in propaganda broadcasts blasted across the border. South Korea's Defense Ministry and the US -led United Nations Command said they couldn't confirm it. The North Koreans have also reportedly closed down a bridge that leads into Panmunjom from the North after Oh drove across it without being stopped, a South Korean military source said, according to the Chosun Ilbo report. The source said the North could be preparing to install a security gate at the bridge for strengthening its screening of personnel coming in and out of the area. "The news about an elite soldier like a JSA guard having fled in a hail of bullets will have a significant psychological impact on North Korean border guards", the military spokesman added.
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There is the possibility that Pak Rim Su, a North Korean major general, is being questioned about the incident and may be held responsible for allowing the soldier to defect. "The North seems retracing the escape route to plug up loopholes", a military spokesman here said. South Korean troops did not return fire. It is located inside the 4-kilometer (2 1/2-mile) -wide Demilitarized Zone, which forms the de facto border between the Koreas since the Korean War.
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