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Three North Korean Defectors Cross Lightly Guarded DMZ

Posted June. 18, 2005 04:32,   


On June 17, three North Korean defectors came to South Korea by way of Cheolwon, Gangwon Province and the West Sea seeking asylum in the South. Military authorities are investigating into the circumstances of their defection. The defectors who came to the South via Cheolwon were found to have walked for four or five days through a portion of the border where iron railings on it were discovered cut last October, which suggests that the military failed to keep a strict guard at the foremost part of the border with the North.

A Man in His 20s Came South Over the Border-

At 5:30 a.m. on the same day, Mr. Nam (65), a resident of Daema-ri, Cheolwon, reported to the police that a man was hiding in his truck wearing a North Korean military uniform.

The man identified himself as Lee and said that “I walked to the South for four or five days.” According to the defector’s statement, he was never stopped and checked at any point all the way thorough the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and iron fences at the front line of the border.

Military authorities concluded that the defector came through the area where iron railings were found to have been cut last October. Authorities are thoroughly checking the vigilance of the military unit in charge of the areas.

North Korean Husband, Wife Come South-

At around 8:24 a.m. on the same day, a South Korean fishing guide boat found the Nampoho, a North Korean boat, 2.5 miles off the northern coast in the West Sea. Two North Koreans were aboard the five meter by three meter wooden boat according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The North Koreans said they were husband and wife and expressed their intention to seek asylum in the South by saying, “We will not go back to the North.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com