SEOUL, July 15 (UPI) — A North Korean border guard died and another guard was injured after they were allegedly assaulted in the border city of Hyesan, according to a recent report.
A source in the North Korean province of Yanggang told Radio Free Asia the guards were on evening patrol when unidentified assailants assaulted them.
One guard died on site and the second guard had a “badly injured” head, according to the source.
The incident took place in an area between the Wiyon district of Hyesan and the nearby town of Hwajonri.
There are at least two suspects involved, the source said.
The source also said the location is part of a route frequented by smugglers and border traders.
Another source identified as a guard in Yanggang Province said Thursday the incident has resulted in a state of emergency at the border.
“Even the injured guard is in critical condition, so it is highly likely the incident will be blamed on the U.S. imperialists,” the guard said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Both sources said the Korean People’s Army security branch and the Yanggang Province law enforcement agency have been mobilized to find the suspects and are trying to track them down.
Hyesan has been experiencing the highest surge in the price of rice, a staple grain in North Korea.
The city also directly faces an area in China where a Christian pastor disappeared and was possibly killed by North Korean agents in April for his work with refugees.