Photo/IllutrationA tourist looks out over one of the narrowest parts of the Yalu river called “One step” near the Hushan Great Wall in Dandong, Liaoning province, on Aug. 16. Across the river lies North Korea. It is a popular sightseeing spot on the Chinese side as a North Korean guardhouse and patrolling soldiers can be seen. (Takuya Hiraga)

DANDONG, China--Not many people put their lives at stake for Chinese take-out, but a few hungry North Korean soldiers did just that in this border city in the shadow of the Great Wall of China.

The armed troopers sneaked across the border into China, pounced on a donkey in a civilian's yard, butchered it on the spot and fled into the night with the hunks of meat.

The soldiers were chased off by a Chinese border patrol who opened fire. It is not known if any of the thieves were shot or killed during the incursion at the east end of the Great Wall of China in Liaoning province.

The raid took place in early August after the North Koreans crossed the Yalu river, which borders China, from Sinuiju city in North Phyongan province to steal food from Chinese homes near the Hushan Great Wall area, a popular tourist destination, according to sources close to the border patrol.

“(The incident) may mean the food shortage is severe even for soldiers, who supposedly have priority over supplies,” said another source.

In recent years, the food shortage crisis in North Korea is believed to have lessened. However, the source pointed out that some rural areas of North Korea are experiencing temporary food shortages, as they are forced to send eggs and meat to Pyongyang after a national campaign called “200-Day Battle” was initiated by the government from June this year.