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Through the demilitarized zone: person breaks border into North Korea

Through the demilitarized zone
Person breaks border into North Korea

Time and again, North Koreans manage to escape from the brutally ruled country. But now the South Korean military reports that a person was traveling in the other direction: They broke through the barbed wire fence to get to the north.

According to the South Korean military, a previously unidentified person illegally crossed the heavily fortified border to North Korea from South Korea. The General Staff said that the person was observed on Saturday night walking through the four-kilometer-wide demilitarized zone (DMZ) to North Korea. North Korea had been informed of the incident in the eastern part of the DMZ via a military communications line.

In an evaluation of surveillance images it was later found that the person had already broken through the reinforced barbed wire fence in the DMZ between the two countries on Saturday evening, reported the national news agency Yonhap, citing a representative of the general staff. The evaluation suggests that the border guards only noticed the “border violation” a few hours later.

It is extremely rare for South Koreans to overflow into the isolated neighboring country of North Korea. Before the corona pandemic, many people fled North Korea every year because of starvation or oppression. Most of them, however, cross the border into China. Many later made their way to South Korea via third countries.

In September 2020, an incident caused a stir when an official from the South Korean Ministry of Fisheries was shot dead by North Korean border guards in the sea. According to the information provided by the South Korean military at the time, the officer was on a patrol ship near the sea border off the west coast when he suddenly disappeared from the boat. North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un later apologized for the fatal shooting at the man.

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