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N.K. soldier arrested for killing 4 ethnic Koreans in China

N.K. soldier arrested for killing 4 ethnic Koreans in China

Posted January. 05, 2015 07:13,   


A North Korean soldier, 26, who is believed to be a deserter, stole a pistol, penetrated into a village in Jilin Province, China near the North Korean border, committed robbery, and killed four ethnic Korean Chinese in an unprecedented incident. The suspect was reportedly shot by Chinese military and police before being arrested, and remains in a coma. North Korea reorganized the deployment of its military units near the Chinese border following the incident.

According to Chinese news sources, the suspect holding a gun infiltrated into the home of an ethnic Korean Chinese man identified by his last name Heo, 60, and murdered Heo at the front yard and his wife in the kitchen in succession at the village of Nanping in Helong City near the Tumen River around 7:30 p.m. on December 27. Then, he went into a room at the home of another man identified by Lee, 70, and beat Lee and his wife in the head with the pistol to death. He also entered the home of Cha, 70, and threatened the latter who was home alone to rob 100 yuan (about 16 dollars), and took some food before running away. He also entered the home of an ethnic Han family, but just left.

Soon after the crime, the suspect ran towards upstream of the Tumen River, was shot in the belly by Chinese military and police at a valley at a village around 12 midnight on the day, and arrested, and is receiving treatment at ‘R’ hospital in Helung City, but remains in a coma. Judging that the murder case, in which its own citizens were killed by a North Korean soldier within its territory at the North Korean border to be a very unusual incident, the Chinese authority has deployed public security forces from Jilin Province, Helong City, and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous District, and soldiers to Nanping, and is investigating the case.

As news on the incident spread, anti-North Korean sentiment within China is escalating, and watchers predict the North Korea-China relations, which are at their low point since the North’s third nuclear test in February 2013, may deteriorate further. Meanwhile, as the North has reorganized the deployment of its military units in Chinese border areas, chances are high the routes that North Korean defectors would use could be more tightly sealed. The Dong-A Ilbo’s investigative news gathering activities in Jilin Province found that the Chinese authority is also beefing up surveillance in its North Korean border following the incident.

The Chinese media have not reported anything on the case even though four Chinese citizens were shot to death by a North Korean soldier. The bodies of the Heo and Lee couples are being kept at ‘R’ hospital, but their funerals will likely be delayed until after the Chinese authority concludes investigation into the case.