Saturday, October 6, 2012

North Korean Soldier Kills 2 Superiors; Defects To South

North Korean Defection

An article in CNN says that a North Korean soldier has defected to South Korea; while on guard duty, the soldier killed two of his superiors and then fled across the border, a distance of no more than 500 metres:
South Korean soldiers at their guard posts reported hearing gunfire before he crossed into the South shortly after noon local time, according to a news release from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. Soldiers in the South took the defector in on their side of the border and brought him to a safe place for questioning then tightened security in the area.
The North Korean said that "while he was on guard duty, he killed his platoon and squad leaders and defected thereafter," the JCS said.Defections over land through the heavily armed and fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are rare, as most fleeing the communist North prefer the greater odds of success of crossing by sea."The last North Korean soldier who defected (over land) was in March 2010," said a spokesman from the defense ministry in Seoul.
But with his comrades dead and no longer capable of hindering him, it was easy for the soldier to flee south. "The distance between the North Korean guard post and the South Korean guard post is 500 meters," the official said, who asked not to be named, because he is not authorized to speak with the media.
More than 20,000 North Koreans have made their way to the South, chiefly through China, in the last sixty years. Defections from soldiers are rare; the border is heavily guarded and mined. It is important to note that the two nations are still technically at war, having signed a cease-fire agreement and not a peace treaty, after a three-year war, in 1953.

North Korea is one of the world's most harshest, secretive and repressive regimes, and a nation where its people are starving. Its leaders have little regard for its people. That a soldier would want to defect is no surprise; that he had to kill two of his superiors is both unfortunate and a testament to the effectiveness of the regime's ability to make distrust among its citizens normative.

You can read the rest of the article at [CNN]