China has lodged a formal complaint to North Korea after claims were made that a defector from the North Korean military killed four people in the Chinese border town of Helong, reports BBC.
The killings, occurring on December 28, were reported by both Chinese and South Korean media, who say that the soldier crossed the border in search of food. He then went on to kill four residents in the town before he was arrested in an area north of the Tumen river, which divides China and North Korea.
South Korean Yonhap News Agency reports that the defector was armed with a gun, and that he killed the four people while in their homes during robberies. Another person was reported as injured.
Since his arrest, the soldier has been held by Chinese security forces, Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, announced on Monday at a Beijing news conference. Hua also mentioned that the Public Security Bureau in China was “handling the case according to law.”
China’s border with North Korea has long been a popular escape route for North Koreans. However, reports on defectors in the area are becoming less and less common; this is possibly a result of the fence that was erected by North Korea to curb the exodus of fleeing refugees.
[Image via asiadailywire]
By Robert Ridley