Go to contents

N. Korean soldier defects to South Korea via DMZ

Posted December. 22, 2017 08:51,   

Updated December. 22, 2017 09:12


Another North Korean solider defected to South Korea on Thursday, only in 38 days after the defection of North Korean soldier Oh Cheong-seong to South Korea via the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the village of Panmunjom. It is likely that the solider decided to cross the border after listening to South Korea’s propaganda broadcasts, which tell the details of the successful escape of Oh. Intelligence officials are investigating why and how the soldier crossed the border.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), South Korean soldiers at a guard post in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province spotted a North Korean solider at around 8:04 a.m. approaching the military demarcation line (MDL) in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). He was armed with an AK rifle but expressed his intention to defect to the South. The military identified the soldier’s identity and handed him over to the intelligence agency.

Intelligence agencies, including the National Intelligence Service (NIS), are jointly questioning the solider to find out the details of his identity and the circumstances surrounding his defection.

A total of four North Korean defectors, including Thursday’s case, have defected to the South this year. Meanwhile, two North Korean men on a small wooden boat also defected to the South at around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday by crossing the maritime border in the East Sea, according to the Ministry of Unification.

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com · In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com