February 23, 2017 11:20
The North Korean regime is tightening controls in its border regions for fear that news of the murder of leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Jong-nam will seep into the country.
Authorities are stopping frequent travelers from visiting their relatives in China and dispatching security forces to the Chinese border regions, sources said Wednesday. "Some people in Pyongyang had permits from the State Security Ministry to visit relatives in China but the permits were abruptly canceled after the assassination," a source said.
People are only allowed to meet relatives from China or receive packages in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province, the source said. "I heard that some people from Nampo have been stranded in Sinuiju because they can't leave for China."
Officials are allowed to carry on important business in China because they travel in groups and are easy to watch and control. Another source in North Pyongan Province said security forces dispatched to Sinuiju have paralyzed business by blocking traders' telephone calls with their Chinese partners.
"There have been half a dozen house-to-house searches in Hoeryong this month alone," another source in North Hamgyong Province said. "People had to fill out their family certificates again, and new checkpoints have been added along the route between Chongjin and Hoeryong and in Musan."
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