N.Korean soldier defects across DMZ

Rare border crossing comes amid heightened inter-Korean tensions

N.Korean soldier defects across DMZ

World Bulletin / News Desk

A North Korean soldier walked across the world's most heavily guarded border into South Korea late Tuesday, according to the South's military.

The as yet unidentified man "crossed the military demarcation line in the middle sector [of the DMZ, or Demilitarized Zone] at around 7.50 p.m. (2250GMT) and came to the South's guard post," Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Defections are always a contentious issue with Pyongyang accusing South Korea of luring or kidnapping citizens. Border crossings along the DMZ are very rare, with the last such incident occurring in September.

Seoul has a policy of accepting all North Korean refugees after a period of transition in a resettlement center, where they are screened to ensure they are not spies and educated about how to adjust to a capitalist society.

The JCS statement carried by the Yonhap News Agency said the soldier was discovered by South Korean troops who initially took him into custody without any exchange of fire.

The South's military has been on alert after the recent discovery of a North Korean drone that had been spying on an American anti-missile defense battery.

Defections are viewed as a sign of internal struggle, particularly as Pyongyang continues to be hit with global sanctions for to its development of nuclear weapons.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Haziran 2017, 08:18