In a recent development, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has put an entire city under lockdown, not due to COVID-19 outbreak but after 653 bullets went missing during a recent military withdrawal, reports said.
According to reports, the officials searched house-to-house in the city of Hyesan, which has a population of around 200,000 people, for the ammunition, two sources told Radio Free Asia.
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Speaking to Radio Free Asia, a resident of the northern province of Ryanggang said, “The city … will remain on lockdown until all 653 bullets are found.”
The missing ammunition came to light on March 7, when soldiers with the Korean People’s Army 7th Corp were pulling back from the area surrounding the city, which lies on the border with China. They had been deployed there in 2020 to enforce the border closure at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They withdrew completely between February 25 and March 10, but an extensive investigation is underway because of a loss of bullets during the evacuation process,” the Ryanggang resident said.
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It is reportedly said that the soldiers initially did not report about the missing bullets but tried to find them. “But when the missing bullets could not be found, they notified the residents and began a rigorous search,” he said.
Residents had been looking forward to the army’s withdrawal from the area, but during the investigation they will have even less freedom of movement, a Ryanggang province official, who requested anonymity, told RFA.