Extortion caper ends in execution for North Korean resident

Seol Song Ah  |  2017-10-31 17:34
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A forty-year-old North Korean resident was reportedly executed after attempting to extort local officials. The individual in question confessed to planning an extortion attempt after watching a South Korean movie. The incident - involving murder, theft, extortion, and a police investigation - came to a head in April 2017 in Sunchon City, South Pyongan Province. 
According to an inside source who spoke to Daily NK, the incident began with the murder of an employee from the Ministry of Peoples Security (North Koreas police agency). The murder occurred in August 2016 in Sunchon City, South Pyongan Province. The first person to discover the officers dead body allegedly took the officers pistol and left the scene.

While the murder of a police officer is a grave offence in North Korea, the loss of a firearm is also regarded as a serious political incident.  

Because they were unable to locate the missing firearm, the municipal police and even high-ranking party cadres from the Ministry of State Security (MSS) stepped in to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the culprit, said a South Pyongan Province source who spoke to Daily NK by telephone on October 27.     

The investigation remained unresolved for quite some time, before an unsigned letter was suddenly discovered on the ground in front of the Sunchon City MSS office. The note said: Bring 5,000 USD to a place of my choosing and I will return the firearm.  
The municipal Ministry of People's Security (MPS) unit, which was heading up the search, then passed the investigation to the municipal MSS unit. The MSS proceeded to carry out a handwriting analysis and alibi investigation targeting all South Pyongan Province residents. 

By the end of March, all residents were required to submit one page of handwriting with their left hand and one with their right hand. These were submitted to their inminban [people's unit or neighborhood watch] leaders. The inminban leaders then passed the collected papers to the MSS. High intensity searches were conducted in the region immediately surrounding the residence of the murdered officer, who lived in the Y [i.e. shaped liked the letter Y] Apartment Building in Kangpo-dong, the source said. 

As the investigation continued, the perpetrator was finally caught in April. A Kangpo-dong resident in his forties accidentally disclosed the information to an MSS informant while drinking, specifically mentioning the dead body of the murdered officer. The resident was quickly arrested and taken to the basement-level prison of the MSS office, where he confessed.  

According to a separate source in South Pyongan Province, the residents confession included the following admissions: I searched the dead officers body, finding $400 USD in cash and a firearm. I took both and fled. As the lost firearm investigation took on a political nature, I tried to extort money from the MSS office. I was inspired by a South Korean movie to carry out this plan. 

This source added, The man was executed in secret. His family disappeared overnight, and rumors are swirling that they were taken to a political prison camp. It is a tragic ending for the family, and draws the lost firearm investigation to a close. However, the investigation of the police officers murder is not over, and the MPS is continuing to search for the perpetrator."
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