U.S. Leftist Tried to Defect to North Korea on the Same Day a North Korean Soldier Was Shot While Defecting
On the same day that a North Korean soldier braved gunfire to defect to the country’s southern neighbor, a deluded leftist unsuccessfully attempted to cross into the North “for political reasons.”
The demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea saw an abnormal amount of activity on Monday when a North Korean soldier successfully made his way across the 2.5-mile-wide strip—the third defection by a member of the North Korean military this year. Prior to 2017, only four soldiers defected to the South.
On the same day, a 58-year-old man from Louisiana was arrested by the South Korean military for crossing over the civilian control line just outside the DMZ. Authorities state that the man attempted entry into North Korea “for political purposes,” reports the Washington Post.
According to Yonhap News Agency, a resident of the border county of Yeoncheon saw the man’s attempt to cross over and alerted police. Local authorities state that the man, identified only as “A,” arrived in the country three days prior to his defection attempt.
While he was making his attempt to flee into the communist country, a North Korean soldier fled across the DMZ, prompting other North Korean soldiers to open fire on him.
South Korean newspaper Chosunreports that the soldier was shot at least six times. Bullets struck his lung, back, elbow, leg, an abdomen. He was safely airlifted by a United Nations Command helicopter to a South Korean hospital for treatment after crossing the heavily patrolled border.
“A North Korean soldier defected from a guard post on the North Korean side of the JSA toward our side at 3:31 p.m.,” according to a military official, who stated that South Korean soldiers found the man fallen and bleeding on the southern side of the Joint Security Area. He was found wearing a combat uniform with a low rank, but his identity has not been released.
North Korean soldiers broke pursuit after he made his way across, as doing so would have likely led to a firefight between both armies.
Defections from North Korean soldiers stationed along the DMZ are rare as members of the border unit are reportedly “cherry-picked” for their loyalty to Kim Jong Un’s communist regime.
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