About 20 North Korean border guards suspected of taking bribes to help defectors to China have fled their posts and entered China, a report says. South Korea's online Daily NK news outlet quoted several sources who did not want to be identified.
"The runaway officers, mostly non-commissioned officers, were suspected of taking money for helping defectors flee to China during a recent audit by the North Korean government," a North Korean resident in Hoeryong told the agency.
Daily NK quoted another source as saying the men were not all from the same military unit, and that two other guards along the border had been found guilty of taking bribes and were scheduled to be executed before the end of the month.
Some human rights organizations in South Korea have claimed as many as 300,000 North Korean defectors are in China, the Korea Times reported.