A man has managed to sneak across the heavily miltarised border into North Korea without being arrested, although there are fears for his life.
An unidentified man has managed to cross the border on foot into North Korea after crossing the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. This is an extremely unusual situation. Entry into North Korea from the South is a very rare phenomenon, as it is usually the other way round.
The incursion was confirmed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, who stated that “an unidentified person appears in the images captured by a thermal imaging device on the Eastern front”.
The individual would have crossed the last South Korean control station at around 18:40 local time, taking around four hours to cover the DMZ, of approximately four kilometres, to enter North Korean territory at 22:40. Despite troops being mobilised to catch the individual, “the difficulty of the mountain terrain” made the task impossible.
South Korean sources have acknowledged that they took three hours to begin responding. “With regards to our initial response, we believe that our efforts were partly insufficient, and they should have been done much more actively,” they admitted.
The agency Yonhap has confirmed that the South Korean authorities have sent a message to Pyongyang to try to guarantee the person’s safety, considering what happened in 2020, when a South Korean civil servant disappeared close to the border and died soon afterward. The man had presumably been shot by North Korean forces, who would have burnt the body due to fears over coronavirus.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have not detected any “unusual North Korean military movements after the incursion”.
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