Posted October. 30, 2009 08:18,
The military yesterday said five officers will be fired and border guards will face disciplinary action for their failure to prevent a civilian from defecting to North Korea this week.
The Joint Chief of Staff and the 22nd Army Division said Kang Dong-rim crossed over to the North Tuesday afternoon after cutting through barbed wire along the Demilitarized Zone.
An official said the barbed wire was not found cut when the military conducted a closer examination at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday.
Considering the circumstances, Kang is presumed to have crossed the border on the afternoon of Oct. 27th. There were no landmines on the route he took, the official said.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military failed to detect Kangs defection due to limited observation caused by the curvy terrain that resulted in a dead angle zone.
Authorities are conducting a further investigation on if there was a problem in the patrol conducted by the frontline unit in charge of guarding the border.
Defense Minister Kim Tae-young also expressed an apology to a National Assembly committee, saying the military will conduct a thorough examination of its alert status.