It seems North Korean defections are becoming more and more common, and a lot easier these days.
A ballsy North Korean soldier defected to South Korea by casually crossing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two countries. Surprisingly, no shot was fired when the soldier made the rare cross on Thursday despite the area being heavily guarded from both sides.
According to South Korea’s Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff, no fire exchange ensued when the soldier walked unarmed across the eastern part of the front line at around 10 a.m. Korea Standard Time. He is now in the custody of the South Korean military and under questioning, Reuters reported.
Each year, more than 1,000 North Koreans defect to South Korea but through different channels, most commonly by traveling via China.
Such crossings over the zone, which has been littered with mines and lined with barbed wire, have been successfully attempted before, the last one done just last year in June.
The escape of the North Korean soldier followed a series of recent defections, including the North’s deputy ambassador to Britain, Thae Yong Ho, who escaped last month. Ho is the most prominent and highest-ranking diplomat to defect to South Korea.
The two Koreas are technically still under a state of war since their 1950-53 conflict did not end in a peace treaty.
North Korea’s recent missile tests have recently raised tension in the peninsula with neighboring nations condemning such actions and global powers seeking tougher sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.