Defector brokers released after bribing North Korean officials
Three North Koreans working as brokers for defectors were arrested on charges of human trafficking by North Korean officials in the Sino-North Korean border area in March. However, all three were reportedly released after providing large sums of money for state construction projects, North Korean sources told Daily NK.
The brokers were paid by three potential defectors earlier this year and were preparing for the defections together with Chinese brokers when their activities were reported to the Ministry of State Security (MSS). They were interrogated by the MSS for around two months, but then released in mid-May after promising to provide funds for state construction projects. The turn of events are unusual, even by North Korean standards.
“The brokers had completed the preparations necessary for the three North Koreans to defect, but one informed a friend that he was ‘crossing the river into China’ and that person alerted the authorities, who then then made the arrests,” a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK.
The next day, the MSS forced the three North Koreans to meet with their brokers. The brokers were then arrested on the spot. ......