N. Korea Soldier Walks Across DMZ to Defect

He made it across 2.5 heavily fortified miles
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 29, 2016 12:37 AM CDT
N. Korea Soldier Walks Across DMZ to Defect
North Korean People's Army Lt. Col. Nam Dong Ho points at a map showing the line which separates the two Koreas.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

South Korea's military said Thursday that a North Korean soldier had crossed the border between the rivals to defect. South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said military officials were investigating the North Korean soldier, who defected across the central-east portion of the military demarcation line, which is inside the 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone that separates the countries, the AP reports. The military provided no other details.

The Koreas have shared the world's most heavily fortified border since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Despite the heavy military presence at the border, North Korean soldiers occasionally find room to sneak into the South. Another North Korean soldier defected in June last year after crossing the military demarcation line. In 2012, a North Korean soldier managed to walk south of barbed-wire fences without being caught by guards, which led to criticism on how South Korean soldiers were guarding the border. (In July, a high-ranking official defected from North Korea's London embassy.)

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