|Desiree Sison |||Feb 05, 2016 06:27 AM EST|
(Photo : Photo by Jung Yeon-Je-pool/Getty Images) North Korean special agents have been conducting secret missions in China to arrest defectors.
North Korean special agents have been conducting secret missions to capture defectors who have sought refuge in China, according to South Korean news outlet, Daily NK.
The Daily NK has reported that agents of North Korea have been secretly crossing into China to arrest defectors who once worked in Pyongyang's government as high-level officials.
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The South Korean news agency, quoting unnamed sources, said the agents are part of the task force Pyongyang created to hunt down the defectors. The team reportedly is part of the government's National Security Agency.
Special Task Force
The task force is reported to be composed of three security agents who travel to the cities of China, particularly in Beijing, Shenyang, and Yanji to conduct search missions by showing pictures of the defectors to local residents and asking them if they can identify the escapees.
The source said the security agents distribute pictures of the defectors to all the North Korean consulates across China as well as business establishments such as North Korean restaurants and at trading firms.
According to the sources of the Daily NK, the security agents not only ask mainlanders but even the ethnic South Koreans in China to help them locate the defectors.
"The task force operates in secret, and must locate the runaway cadres right away," the source said.
The sources told the Daily NK that the task force agents themselves run the risk of losing their lives if they return to Pyongyang without any defector arrested.
The sources said Pyongyang's creation of a small task force is unprecedented considering that it had sent a larger contingent during the past years.
Last Tuesday, Pyongyang and Moscow signed an agreement where both parties vowed to take the necessary measures in dealing with 'illegal immigrants' on both sides of their border.
Nikolai Smorodin, Russia's deputy head of the Federal Migration Service and North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk both signed the deal that will tackle the problem of illegal immigration of North Koreans in Moscow.
In a statement, Moscow said there are more than 10,000 North Koreans residing in various parts of the country. many of them on illegal status.
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