Hyesan police recently launched a manhunt for a man in his twenties who escaped while being investigated for theft, Daily NK has learned.
After the suspect, surnamed Kim, broke out of jail in mid-January, the Hyesan police put him on the most-wanted list and released a public bulletin with his personal information, a source in Yanggang Province told Daily NK on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
Kim had been serving hard labor for theft but bribed the prison staff to give him compassionate parole for reasons of poor health. But while he was still on parole, he was detained once again for theft by the Hyesan police.
“While Kim was being investigated, he took advantage of lax security to make his escape, which caused a major stir in the Hyesan police,” the source said.
Daily NK acquired a “wanted” poster that included a photograph of Kim along with detailed information including his date of birth, height, hairstyle, and clothing. The wanted poster cannot be published due to security concerns.
At the time of his escape, Kim was wearing earmuffs, a khaki puffer jacket made by Chinsong (a winter attire brand that is popular among North Koreans), black pants, and black winter dress shoes with pointed toes.
The poster states that Kim’s family members have already defected and that Kim himself has illegally crossed the border before.
“Kim’s family members are already in South Korea and Kim has been over the border in the past. The police think there is a good chance he is already across the Yalu River,” the source said.
Few people take wanted posters seriously anymore
After being released on parole, Kim became a vagrant without any particular job. Without a fixed workplace or residence, the police have struggled to track him down, which is apparently why they decided so quickly to release a public bulletin about the manhunt.
The addition of a thief to the most-wanted list bothers some people in Hyesan, who are concerned that the authorities mean to use ordinary crimes to further tighten social controls.
“We already had several criminal bulletins of this sort in Hyesan last year, and people don’t take them very seriously anymore. People are disgruntled because the authorities seem to be using the first bulletin of the year to deliberately raise tensions,” the source said.
People are also unhappy with the police for letting Kim out of prison on compassionate parole in exchange for a bribe.
“The proliferation of theft and robbery is making people more anxious than before. People are growing more critical and distrustful of a judicial system that puts criminals who can afford the bribe back out on the streets,” said the source.
Translated by David Carruth. Edited by Robert Lauler.
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February 06, 2024 at 04:30AM
by DailyNK(North Korean Media)