North Korea has reportedly sent around 3,000 members of the "Storm Corps" -- an elite military force created by Kim Jong Il -- to a number of areas around their northern border with China, according to Daily NK.
The Storm Corps is one of the most prestigious assignments in the Hermit Kingdom, and the unit is made of "airborne ranger" squads, as well as light infantry who are tasked with espionage and "military disruption activities." Moreover, the unit is known to be considered the "second front line" should war break out in the country.
Defense blog Task and Purpose declared the communist nation's special forces to be likely more dangerous to American interests than the much more often heralded nuclear program, citing a 2015 report given to Congress by the Pentagon.
"North Korea's special operations forces …, growing artillery, and missile forces provide significant capabilities for small-scale attacks that could rapidly escalate into a larger scale confrontation," the paper concluded.
According to Daily NK, a source had claimed that the specific locations that were targeted by the Storm Corps include the eastern provinces of North Hamgyong and Yanggang, both of which neighbor China.
There have been some hypotheses as to why the troops have been moved to the area.
"There are several rumors floating around about [why] the Storm Corps soldiers were sent to the border, but it seems clear they were sent there to ensure [it] remains completely closed," an insider said.
One theory has suggested that a recent defector has motivated leader Kim Jong Un to implement stricter measures to stop citizens from fleeing the country. Others believe that it has to do with stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Unfortunately, their presence has only made lives harder for those who live in the regions and depend on contact with the Middle Kingdom.
"Many people [living near the border] have been unable to engage in smuggling activities because of COVID-19, and the recent incident involving the defector has only made life harder for them," the source added.
The new development came after Kim made a number of moves apparently designed to strengthen the country's army. For example, he recently ordered the expansion of a Pyongyang artillery site for a hypothetical attack against South Korea following the breakdown of diplomatic relations.
In addition, the communist leader demanded earlier this spring that the nation be "war-ready" and create an impregnable military zone, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.