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North Korean in Diving Gear Crosses Border into South Korea Undetected

SEOUL, South Korea — A North Korean man sporting a moist go well with and flippers crossed the jap maritime border with South Korea this week, army officers stated 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 army’s border safety in current 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 army later stated that sensors imagined to set off alarms that alert South Korean guards malfunctioned due to free bolts.

The most recent 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 warfare, the South Korean army stated in a press release on Wednesday.

Officers have been investigating the person’s motive in crossing the border, and stated he could also be a defector from the North. He got here ashore by crawling by 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 army checkpoint first captured him strolling down a highway to the south at four: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 army allow.

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

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 warfare 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 almost two million troops on each side.

Defections throughout the DMZ are comparatively uncommon and harmful. In November 2017, a North Korean soldier dashed by a hail of bullets fired by his fellow troops to enter the South by 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 carried out so by China, which borders the North, ultimately making their option to a South Korean embassy overseas.

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