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The #defection of a border guard of #North Korea on November 13 has rattled the authorities in Pyongyang, and it is believed that they have replaced all the guards who were on duty at the time. #Kim Jong-un holds a tight rein over his subjects, and the incident has come as a major embarrassment to him and his military.

Express UK reports that the individual used a jeep. He was chased by his fellow guards who even fired at him when he lost control of the vehicle, abandoned it, and sprinted across the last stretch to enter South Korea.

Aftereffects of the defection

North Korea is a closely guarded country and whatever little is known comes from official sources.

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Kim Jong-un rules the country, and his ambition is to pursue his nuclear program, and build ICBMs to destroy the United States. The people in his country do not enjoy freedom, their movements are restricted, and are they bound by strict rules and regulations. Therefore, the defection of the border guard has shaken the authorities.

Yonhap News, a Seoul-based news agency, has indicated that all the border guards have been replaced as a part of the restructuring of the border security. Moreover, as a corrective action and to enforce discipline, all of them could face termination. A disciplinary action might have already been taken against commanders of the responsible military unit and senior officers because the defection amounted to a security breach. The news agency has also informed that the guards had breached the rules of the 1953 Armistice Agreement and had been punished.

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According to the United Nations Command, North Korea had violated the 1953 Armistice Agreement when its border guards tried to prevent the soldier from fleeing to South Korea. The guards had reportedly fired five shots, and some of the bullets went over the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).

Actions that were taken by Pyongyang

In view of the defection, Pyongyang has taken certain actions to strengthen the border security. One of the measures is to tighten the screening of whoever comes into the demilitarised zone or leaves it. A second measure is to temporarily close down the bridge which the defector had used to escape. Obviously, the authorities of North Korea do not want a repetition of such an incident and have to ensure security at the border.

Any defector is usually viewed with suspicion. In this case, Kim Jong-un would be worried about the secrets that the defector would reveal. Seoul, on the other hand, would like to pamper him to obtain information that could be useful in future. The United States would also be interested in examining him and try to learn more about the secretive country.