North Korean in Diving Gear Crosses Border into South Korea Undetected


SEOUL, South Korea — A North Korean man sporting a moist swimsuit and flippers crossed the jap maritime border with South Korea this week, navy officers mentioned on Wednesday. The South’s troopers did not detect him till he was strolling down a highway south of the closely guarded frontier.

The crossing marked the second embarrassing breach for the South Korean navy’s border safety in latest months. In November, one other North Korean man, a former gymnast, crawled over the border fence and was not captured till he was half a mile south of the border. The navy later mentioned that sensors purported to set off alarms that alert South Korean guards malfunctioned due to free bolts.

The newest infiltrator from the North swam throughout the border on Tuesday, coming ashore south of the two.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, the no-man’s buffer zone that separated the 2 Koreas after the conflict, the South Korean navy mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday.

Officers had been investigating the person’s motive in crossing the border, and mentioned he could also be a defector from the North. He got here ashore by crawling via a drain beneath a barbed-wire fence that South Korea erected alongside the frontier seashores to discourage North Korean infiltrators.

A closed-circuit tv digital camera at a navy checkpoint first captured him strolling down a highway to the south at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, however it was not till three hours later that troopers captured him for interrogation. When he was captured, the person was within the so-called civilian-control zone south of the DMZ, the place no civilians are allowed to journey with out navy allow.

“Our navy didn’t take applicable actions, though the person had been detected in its surveillance system a number of instances since coming ashore,” the navy mentioned.

When somebody from the North crosses the land border undetected, it raises questions on nationwide safety in South Korea. The 2 Koreas have remained technically at conflict because the 1950-53 Korean battle was halted in an armistice.

The Korean Demilitarized Zone is likely one of the world’s most closely armed frontiers, guarded by tall barbed-wire fences, minefields, sensors and practically two million troops on each side.

Defections throughout the DMZ are comparatively uncommon and harmful. In November 2017, a North Korean soldier dashed via a hail of bullets fired by his fellow troops to enter the South via Panmunjom, the so-called truce village that straddles the border.

Greater than 33,000 folks from North Korea have defected to South Korea since a devastating famine struck the nation within the 1990s. However most have executed so via China, which borders the North, ultimately making their approach to a South Korean embassy in a foreign country.

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