The North Korean regime has reportedly intensified surveillance of its citizens. The surveillance comes due to the regime viewing the problem of defectors as a serious threat to internal stability.
According to an unnamed official in Seoul, Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, recently issued an order demanding that even the "sound of the drop of a needle" be detected and reported to him.
Due to the North’s harsh crackdowns on its people, the number of defectors from North Korea arriving in the South totaled 1,203 by October. The South Korean government estimates that the number is expected to reach 1,400 by the end of this year, about half of last year's 2,706. It will be the first time since 2006 that the annual number of the defectors entering the South has been below 2,000.
South Korea is home to approximately 24,000 North Korean defectors as a constant stream of North Koreans has fled their communist country to try to avoid chronic food shortages and harsh political oppression.