Travel Procedure Changes Seek to Curtail Defections

first_img The latest move among North Korea’s perennial efforts to preclude defections, the authorities are making theattainment of travel certificates and procedures required to enter border areas far more complex.“The procedure for getting travelcertificates from the local MPS [Ministry of People’sSecurity] units of provinces, cities or counties has changed significantly,” a source in Yangkang province reported to Daily NK on March 3rd. “In the past, those who wanted to enter border areas could obtain travel papers from the city or county MPS units, butfrom this point on, they will only be issued at the No. 2 MPS provincial offices.” Approval codes for travel to and fromheavily restricted areas, namely border regions and Pyongyang, were typicallyissued from the municipal and provincial No.2 MPS units in the past, but are nowonly available from provincial No.2 MPS units, only one of which is located in each province,according to the source. A dearth of reliable transportation options makes the trip to these facilities exceedingly difficult for most.“State-run enterprises have held meetingsrepeatedly demanding that employees avoid travel to border areas unlessabsolutely necessary,” he explained. “MPS agents at the enterprises have even been threatening workers, saying that those who do try to make the trip to these areas are setting themselves upto become automatic targets for increased surveillance.” The upshot of the measure, according of thesource, is yet another effort in the perpetual struggle by the state to eradicaterampant corruption among the provincial No. 2 MPS units, who indiscriminately issue travelcertificates to residents willing and able to provide the requisite bribes. Documentation permitting travel to border areas results in an increase in residents trying to flee the country.“City and county-level factories have to gothrough a separate procedure at the provincial office now, a convolutedprocess exacerbated by the officials there, generally trying to take advantage ofthe situation or being unhelpful. As a result, many have just given up tryingto apply at all,” the source said.Residents are naturally distressed about yetanother obstacle constructed by the state to exhibit total control over its population. Still, most point out that the move will fail to achieve the intended effects, saying, “People determined to defect are going to do so regardless of howcomplicated they try to make getting a travel certificate to border areas. Besides, they don’t need those trivial papers–with money there is always a way.” Travel Procedure Changes Seek to Curtail Defections There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again SHARE News AvatarChoi Song Min Facebook Twittercenter_img News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR NewsEconomy North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) News By Choi Song Min – 2015.03.04 3:27pm last_img read more