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North Korean Soldier Defects, Crossing Border to South Korea

Image: North Korean Soldier Defects, Crossing Border to South Korea

South Korean army soldiers stand guard at Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, near the border with North Korea on Thursday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

By    |   Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 02:06 PM

A North Korean soldier reportedly defected to South Korea on Thursday after sneaking across the country’s heavily guarded border.

The soldier made it past armed sentries, minefields, and barbed wire fences, The New York Times reported.

The South Korean military kept their statements brief regarding the defection, saying that officials were debriefing the soldier to determine his motive in leaving the North at around 10 a.m., according to CNN.

The military said it’s not yet clear why the soldier defected, but that they will continue the investigation until they get more answers.

The soldier's defection comes after a senior diplomat abandoned his post at the country’s embassy in the United Kingdom in August, CNN noted.

Tensions between North and South Korea are high, as the North has flexed its military strength through nuclear tests.

North Korea received criticism from the international community for conducting a fifth nuclear test earlier this month, two of those having been done this year, CNN noted.

Since the end of the Korean War — a three-year war that ended in a cease-fire — in 1953, it’s been said that nearly 30,000 people have defected from North Korea to South Korea, The Times noted. However, crossing Korea’s land or sea border is considered rare for defectors.

The last time this happened was in June of 2015, when a North Korean soldier defected by crossing the Demilitarized Zone — a 2.5-mile-wide buffer, The Times noted. That soldier was the first to cross the buffer in three years, and he later informed officials that he fled the area because of the outspread of beatings and other abuse that was taking place in the military.

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A North Korean soldier reportedly defected to South Korea on Thursday after sneaking across the country's heavily guarded border.
north korean, soldier, defects, south korea
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2016-06-29
Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 02:06 PM
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