Hamkyung province, which makes up some of the Sino-North Korea
border, is under virtual curfew, a Daily NK source has reported. The
regime's security forces, which patrol the area more heavily at night
every winter, have brought the increase in nighttime patrols forward
due to the Tumen River freezing up earlier than normal.
the Tumen River is a common means of escape from North Korea. Each
year, the river freezes up in winter time. The freezing up of the
river leads to an annual increase in attempts to defect.
source told the Daily NK that the security forces have stepped up
their patrols and are questioning any passersby.
increase in security forces in the region is likely to last until
March, according to the source. The river usually starts to thaw out
around then making escape a little more complicated.
source added that locals are more wary of leaving their houses during
the night at this time due to the patrols. The source said that
citizens are apparently cautious about getting wrongfully charged
with attempted defection.