March 8, 2021

South Korea fires warning shots after North Korea soldier flees across border

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From WN

South Korea’s military fired warning shots at North Korean border guards that were searching for a soldier who defected early on Thursday morning, according to BBC News.

The North Korean soldier fled the reclusive country and crossed the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) shortly after 8:00 a.m. local time.

South Korea’s military said the soldier suddenly appeared since there was thick fog surrounding a checkpoint, making him the fourth North Korean soldier to defect this year.

The defector is said to be a “low-ranking” soldier.

After the South fired the 20 warning shots at around 9:30 a.m., they later heard gunshots from the North but no bullets were to have crossed the border.

The incident also comes just weeks after one of the most dramatic defections was caught on camera on Nov. 13, with a North Korean soldier fleeing across the border but being shot in the process and later dragged by South Korean military officials back across the DMZ into South Korea.

South Korea’s defense ministry said it fired 20 warning shots after border guards from the North approached the border while searching for the soldier who defected hours before.

The defection occurred at the border in the Gangwon province, according to South Korea’s national broadcaster KBS.

The soldier was taken into custody while Seoul investigates his intentions.

The DMZ is one of the most heavily militarized areas in the world since it’s a slender piece of buzzer zone between the two Koreas, who remain at war with one another, and is fortified by barbed wire, surveillance cameras, electric fencing, and landmines.

The soldier who escaped near the DMZ last week was shot five times by North Korean guards and his recovery has been watched intensely by South Korean media for his many medical issues.

The soldier had several “enormous parasites” that likely entered his digestive track through contaminated food.

The last update said the defector was released from intensive care and reportedly wrote a thank you note to all the doctors that treated him.

South Korea’s unification ministry also reported on Thursday that two North Koreans were found in a fishing boat in the South’s waters and had defected, according to Yonhap news agency.

“The Navy found it in waters about 100 kilometers north of Dokdo during a patrol mission,” a ministry official said at a press briefing. “A joint probe into the details of their identities is underway.”

The two men said they intended to defect and agreed to abandon their old, wooden fishing ship, which was damaged in the journey.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said that so far 15 North Korean people, including the four soldiers, have fled into South Korea this year, versus one soldier and four civilians in 2016., Maureen Foody

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