A South Korean citizen has crossed the heavily fortified border with North Korea. This is probably one of the few attempts to escape the DPRK.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the defector was found in the demilitarized zone that separates the Korean peninsula, off the east coast at around 9:20 pm local time on Saturday.
Even after trying for hours, the youth managed to escape.
The military leadership in Seoul said it had no information about the defector’s future fate, but sent a request to the DPRK for his protection.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, North Korea has tightened border guards and introduced a defeat-for-fire policy to prevent Covid-19 from entering the country, according to the South Korean military.
Defense ministry representatives in Seoul have promised to overhaul border security systems, as it is not the first case of a successful crossing.
In September 2020, North Korean soldiers shot dead a South Korean fisherman who had previously disappeared at sea and burned his body. This incident caused an uproar in Seoul. Pyongyang cited antiquity regulations and apologized.
The border between North and South Korea is one of the strongest in the world. The demilitarized zone is mined, surrounded by a live barbed wire fence, with surveillance cameras and armed guards on alert 24 hours a day.
The number of successful exodus from the DPRK, which was still very low, has been further reduced since Pyongyang’s crackdown on the pandemic and restrictions on domestic travel.
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