Surveillance agents covertly planting bugs in the homes of defectors’ relatives

first_imgNewsEconomy News North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) The North Korean authorities have reportedly strengthened their efforts toward monitoring, intimidating, and coercing the families of defectors. According to sources inside the country, security agents are desperate to accomplish goals prior to the review period for the “200-Day Battle,” and are now closely watching the families of defectors by planting bugs in their houses, while covertly monitoring neighborhoods pretending to be merchants.“Recently, provincial State Security Department and Ministry of People’s Security [police] officers have significantly intensified their level of surveillance on the families of defectors. The security agents are not only directly visiting their houses but also covertly monitoring them, disguised as ordinary merchants,” a source in North Hamgyong Province told Daily NK on November 8.“There was even a recent case where a security agent abruptly visited a house belonging to a defector’s family pretending to come for drinks, before secretly attaching a bugging device under the table,” the source said, adding that, “When a family member asked the agent, ‘Why would you install such a thing in our house?,’ the agent responded by saying, ‘I don’t know anything.’”“Sometimes bugging devices can be found hanging on bicycles. As such devices appear, the families of defectors are coming under a lot of psychological pressure.”“Under such circumstances, defectors’ families are responding with advice such as, ‘We must check our house after anyone other than a family member visits.’ They are also telling each other to be cautious in speaking and behavior, so as not to be caught by the security agents who are likely to be monitoring them.”He further explained that these security agents are not only strengthening their surveillance and control over the families of defectors but are also using methods of coercion as well. This is because if a defector can be persuaded to return to North Korea, it is recorded as a significant achievement for the agent and a propaganda coup.A source in Ryanggang Province reported that recently, State Security Department agents have been visiting the families of defectors and saying things like, “Tell your family member to come back; they will be forgiven.” But most people doubt such claims, aware of the intensified surveillance for all involved if a defector is indeed to return.“The security agents are desperate to rack up achievements before the review of the ‘200-Day Battle’ which will be held until December 17. It seems likely that different methods of persuasion, intimidation, and surveillance will be employed depending on circumstances,” another source in South Pyongan Province added.The North Korean regime is known to intensify its surveillance of defectors who return, after using them for regime propaganda, as a second defection would reflect badly on the authorities. Therefore, returned defectors are required to make frequent reports, and are placed under constant surveillance, even on holidays. News SHARE US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again Surveillance agents covertly planting bugs in the homes of defectors’ relativescenter_img Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter By Kang Mi Jin – 2016.11.10 3:47pm News Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderslast_img read more

Metallica Performs “Wherever I May Roam”, “The Unforgiven”, More On ‘The Howard Stern Show’ [Listen]

first_imgAfter teasing fans on social media last week, Metallica returned to The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday for the first time in over three years. One day before its 29th anniversary, the quartet performed two songs off their 1991 self-titled album, commonly known as “The Black Album,” as well as a song from 2003’s St. Anger.Related: Lars Ulrich Teases New Metallica Album Amid Coronavirus QuarantineTo start things off, drummer Lars Ulrich counted the band into the first “Black Album” song, “Wherever I May Roam”. Categorized by the typical high-gain guitar tone from James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett and a thunderous bassline from Robert Trujillo, this rendition stuck closely to the studio version’s structure and 6:44 runtime. Hammett linked together measure after measure of sweeping guitar leads to end the song, garnering Stern’s enthusiastic approval: “Good Lord, I love it.”The second and final “Black Album” song came next with “The Unforgiven”. Hetfield lead the group into this track with acoustic picking before Ulrich signaled-in Hammett’s distorted leads. While Hetfield’s voice seemed uncharacteristically dull, perhaps due to a lack of performing for months on end or a mixer issue, the song came together quite nicely thanks to a near perfect rhythm section.Finally, Metallica closed out the Stern appearance with an acoustic rendition of the St. Anger track, “All Within My Hands”. Here, San Francisco-based musician Avi Vinocur of Goodnight, Texas joined the group on vocals. He and Hetfield harmonized well on the track which (thankfully) didn’t include the infamous snare Ulrich used on the studio album.Check out all three tracks below and keep an eye out on Metallica’s Facebook page for video when it becomes available.Metallica – “Wherever I May Roam” – The Howard Stern Show[Video: Metallica]Metallica – “The Unforgiven” – The Howard Stern Show[Video: Metallica]Metallica – “All Within My Hands” – The Howard Stern Show[Video: Metallica]Metallica also recently announced S&M2, a live album and concert film box set documenting their two-night run at San Francisco, CA’s Chase Center with the San Francisco Symphony. The box set incudes over two-and-a-half hours of music and features a pair of classical pieces hand-picked by San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. S&M2 is set for release on August28th. Click here for more album and pre-order info.last_img read more