Five North Koreans trying to escape from the rogue state have reportedly been shot dead while trying to cross into China.
The Telegraph quoted a local newspaper report as saying that at least seven North Koreans were trying to cross into the Chinese province of Jilin from Hyesan in Yanggang province.
They managed to walk across the frozen Yalu River, but were pursued by North Korean border guards and shot after reaching the Chinese side of the border.
The South Korean newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo, said that two defectors were injured.
In recent years the line between North Korea and China has been relatively porous, with a steady stream of refugees and traders crossing over either to escape North Korea's food shortages or to do business.
The Chosun Ilbo speculated that borders guards may have been given new instructions to suppress the number of defectors. (ANI)