North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) visits a long-range artillery unit in the western sector of the front line March 11, 2013 in this picture released by the North"s official KCNA news agencyReuters

A North Korean suspected of trying to defect from the Kim Jong-un regime was shot dead by Chinese border guards while trying to enter China.

The man was killed on Thursday afternoon near the town of Helong, which lies close to China's border with North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported, citing Chinese state media. 

Earlier this year, China had engaged civilians to patrol its border with North Korea given the frequent illegal entry of North Koreans, some of whom have also also attacked Chinese citizens in the past.

Last December, a North Korean defector had murdered four Chinese citizens in Helong in a robbery attempt, raising tensions along the border between the two countries. 

While China and North Korea are diplomatic allies, such border incidents have often raised tensions.