A sign marking North Korea's border with China. Photo: Wikipedia

North Korea, has installed high-voltage electric fencing at its border with China, posing even more challenges for people seeking to leave the country or smuggle goods in from the outside world, according to a report by UPI.

It isn’t clear if the electrified fence, which is alleged to have already killed some attempting to cross the border, is related to current tensions between Pyongyang and Beijing over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

South Korea’s unification ministry said Wednesday that 593 defectors arrived in the South over the first half of 2017, down 20% from a year earlier.