Following the dramatic defection of one of its soldiers, North Korea has reportedly replaced all its border security guards, according to an intelligence source in a Yonhap News Agency report.

“Signs were detected that North Korea has replaced all border security officials following the defection,” the intelligence source said. “Given this situation, commanders of the responsible military unit and senior officers might have undergone punishment.”

North Korea frequently punishes those who draw ire from its leaders, particularly Kim Jong Un, and is rumored to hand down strict sentences or use over-the-top methods to execute them.

The intelligence source noted that North Korea appeared to have temporarily closed the bridge the defector used to make his escape.

North Korean forces were also seen planting two trees and digging a trench at the path the defector used to escape, according to a top US diplomat in South Korea.

On November 13, the defecting soldier, identified by his family name “Oh” and believed to be 24 years old, started his escape by driving a jeep towards the Military Demarcation Line, the line dividing North and South Korea. Driving at a high rate of speed, the jeep's wheel reportedly came loose and the defector was forced to complete the escape on foot after the vehicle ran into an obstruction.

Footage from cameras show several North Korean soldiers frantically responding to the incident and firing their weapons towards the defector. The defector was shot at least five times and eventually rescued by South Korean forces. South Korean doctors said his condition was stable and that he was making a steady recovery.

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