Korea: Northern Water Borders Unguarded

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June 7, 2007: Pro-North Korean groups in South Korea have lost ground, as North Korea continues to renege on agreements to shut down its nuclear weapons program. In the last few days, there has been a major (30,000 people) anti-North Korean demonstration, and continued government refusal to send 400,000 tons of food north, until the nuclear weapons program is halted.

June 6, 2007: North Korea will need about six million tons of food aid this year, in order to avoid widespread starvation. June is the peak month for food shortages, as the first crops have not yet come in, and last years food supplies have run out. This year, North Korea apparently dipped into its emergency reserve to prevent any civil disorder. In an effort to minimize shortages, even more soldiers were sent to work on the farms during the planting season. The soldiers can't do much of anything else, as they haven't got the fuel to move any of their tanks or trucks. North Korea does not allow weapons to be fired much, as ammo is considered too expensive for regular training exercises.

June 3, 2007: Some North Korean border guards are now equipped with sniper rifles, so they can kill people trying to get across the Chinese border, and are too far away for the border guard patrol to grab. On the other side, Chinese border guards are now equipped with night vision equipment. China is trying to reduce the flow of refugees from North Korea, while the North Korean border guards want people to pay bribes to cross, and not risk their lives crossing for free.

June 2, 2007: The North Korean coast guard only goes out on "special missions" because of the shortage of fuel. As a result, more North Koreans are risking prison, or execution, to escape by boat. However, some North Koreans just get lost at sea, and stumble into South Korean waters, where the much more active South Korean coast guard caches them, and escorts them back to North Korean waters.

 

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