Earlier this week, Seoul announced that Thae Yong Ho, a London-based North Korean diplomat, and his family defected to the South.
"There is a considerable chance that the North confronted with difficulties may implement some sort of provocation to help rally its people and consolidate the regime's hold on power… The defection of Thae Yong-ho, the No. 2 man at the North Korean Embassy in London may be causing tremors in the North as well as hurting the country's image abroad," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported citing an unnamed official at Seoul's unification ministry.
"The government urges all citizens to be on guard for possible provocations and to cooperate with the government if the need arises," the official said.
On Saturday, North Korea state media said that Thae Yong Ho committed a series of crimes and decided to avoid retribution by fleeing to Seoul.