Tuesday, December 16, 2008

North Korea ups border punishments after Kim's illness

North Korea has imposed stiffer punishments on those caught trying to flee the destitute state with the new measures coming into effect after reports surfaced that leader Kim Jong-il suffered a stroke, relief groups said.

The tougher penalties implemented in the past few months were designed to show the central government was well in control as questions were raised about leadership in Asia's only communist dynasty in response to Kim's suspected illness, they said.

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