Second N.Korean crosses DMZ in less than a week

North Korean man is latest among handful to defect across Demilitarized Zone

Second N.Korean crosses DMZ in less than a week

World Bulletin / News Desk

A North Korean man crossed the heavily guarded inter-Korean border Sunday, according to South Korea’s military – marking the second Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) defection from the North in six days.

The man was detected “at the northern part of the mouth of the Han River in Gimpo, just west of Seoul,” based on a Yonhap News Agency report that cited Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As with all North Korean refugees who are welcomed in the South, the man will undergo questioning to determine his motives for escaping before an adjustment period at a resettlement center.

Just three DMZ defections had been reported in the past three years, including a soldier who crossed Tuesday night – compared with thousands of North Koreans entering South Korea through third-party countries via China.

The DMZ is 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide and spreads across the peninsula as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. It is surrounded by barbed wire, landmines and military guards on both sides.

Defectors have testified about the high risks associated with escape if caught, as the North is known to have used public executions and concentration camps to punish perceived traitors.

South Korea remains a desired haven for many, however, particularly given that Pyongyang faces increasing economic pressure due to global sanctions aimed at ending its nuclear weapon ambitions.

Last Mod: 18 Haziran 2017, 10:01
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