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N. Korean man who caused panic before Putin’s visit arrested

A prisoner whose escape from a police station in Pyongyang’s Sunan District caused panic just before the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin was arrested on June 21, Daily NK has learned.

“The man, who is in his 30s, escaped from the police station in the early evening of June 18, during a week of special security measures for Putin’s upcoming visit. The man was finally arrested in Sosong District in the early morning of June 21,” a source in Pyongyang told Daily NK on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He had been hiding at a friend’s house in the district and was caught after the friend learned that the man was on the wanted list and tipped off the authorities,” the source added.

According to the source, Sunan District police were dispatched to arrest the man as soon as the tip came in, and beat him senseless upon their arrival. The police then arrested the man and transferred him to a detention cell run by investigators from the Sunan District police station.

Given the man’s previous escape from prison, police are concerned that he may attempt another escape. He is being interrogated in the investigators’ cell, where he has no chance of escaping or being released.

“The Sunan District police are punishing the man by making him sit cross-legged with his hands cuffed to the bars in front of him. He’s only allowed to go to the toilet once a day,” the source said.

The investigator in charge of the case is focusing on the man’s movements after his escape. “If you’d caused an accident or a disturbance near the airport, you would have been shot on the spot. On top of your serious crimes, you now have a jailbreak on your record. You’re facing a harsh sentence and will probably never get out of prison alive,” the investigator reportedly said during the interrogation.

The investigator’s remarks have been relayed to almost everyone in town, both by the man’s family members and by police officers who know about the case, the source said.

“The case is the talk of the town as almost everyone in Sunan District, Sosong District, and downtown Pyongyang has heard rumors about it in the wake of the emergency announcement that an escaped convict is in the city during the special security week for Putin’s visit,” he said.

“A report on the case has been submitted to the Ministry of Social Security. Since the incident took place near a No. 1 event [an event attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un], the ministry ordered that the man be severely punished for disrupting the event and endangering the leader’s safety,” the source said.

Managers of the Sunan District Police Department were also severely reprimanded by the Pyongyang Police Bureau and the Pyongyang Party Committee for failing to control detainees during an important event involving the leader and were forced to write self-criticisms, the source said.

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

Please send any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

July 01, 2024 at 06:30AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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