NORTH Korea has switched out ALL border guards at the demilitarised zone (DMZ) with South Korea as a furious Kim Jong-un comes to terms with this month’s humiliating defection.
North Korea suffered acute embarrassment on November 13 when a border guard fled first by jeep and then on foot across the joint security area (JSA) with South Korea.
The defector, identified only by his surname Oh, sped in a jeep towards the South before losing control and crashing into a ditch. He sprinted the final few metres as North Korea guards opened fire.
Now those border guards are believed to be taking the full force of Kim Jong-un’s fury for the incident – with all believed to have lost their positions.
Yonhap News, a Seoul-based news agency, believes all border guards have been replaced at the border in a huge security overhaul.
And they said an intelligence source had told them the guards were also in danger of cruel punishment at the hands of Kim’s security agents.
The unnamed source told the agency: “Signs were detected that North Korea has replaced all border security officials following the defection.
“Given this situation, commanders of the responsible military unit and senior officers might have undergone punishment.”
Four of those guards punished breached the rules of the 1953 Armistice Agreement, the news agency said.
It said: “The United Nations Command said Wednesday that North Korea clearly violated the 1953 Armistice Agreement twice last week when its border guards tried to hunt down the soldier fleeing to South Korea via the truce village of Panmunjom.
“Four armed North Korean guards chased the defector, who tried to dash toward the South. He was shot five times and some of the gunshots flew over the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).
“A North Korean guard also crossed the MDL for a few seconds and then returned to the North’s side.”
The source also claimed North Korea is now tightening its screening of those entering and leaving the demilitarised zone as well as other aspects of security in the joint security area.
The news agency said: “The intelligence source also said that North Korea appears to have temporarily closed the so-called 72-hour bridge, over which the defector drove the jeep at high speed to reach the northern side of the JSA.”