|Ingwang-ri in North Korea's North Hamgyong Province|
viewed from Helong, China
The high-level source in Changbai in the Chinese province of Jilin said the seven individuals left Hyesan, Yanggang Province, and walked across the frozen Apnok (or Yalu) River and reached the Chinese side on December 14. North Korean border guards ran after the individuals and opened fire. Five died instantly. The two wounded were taken to the North.
Never before have North Korean border guards shot at defectors once they reached the Chinese side.
Observers say guards must have new instructions for dealing with defectors. Leader Kim Jong Il's son and heir, Kim Jong Un, has apparently ordered border guards to shoot anyone who crosses the border rivers without permission. He also reportedly said he would not tolerate defectors crossing the border.
While there is no reason to suspect that those killed in the recent incident were Christian, certainly everyone who crosses the border illegally will be impacted by this shocking change in security measures.
In the upcoming February 2011 VOM newsletter, we'll tell you about a North Korean defector who almost met death while trying to provide for her daughters and met Jesus Christ instead. We'll also share how VOM is involved in helping fellow believers in the "Hermit Kingdom."
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Please pray that those living in hopelessness in North Korea will find hope in Christ. Pray for believers in North Korea who follow Jesus at great risk. Pray for all those in authority in this nation; ask the Lord to open their eyes to the wisdom, compassion and the light of the gospel.