The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a press release obtained by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff that the man, who was reported to be in his 20s, swam across the maritime border and crawled through a drainage pipe under a barbed wire fence. Country Mahjong Ang Daily Newspaper.
The army said it was first seen on closed-circuit surveillance cameras as it passed a military checkpoint at 4:20 a.m., but was not arrested until three hours later when it entered the restricted civilian control area. The area lies south of the 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, which acts as a barrier between the two Koreas.
The army admitted it had failed to act quickly and to arrest the man.
“Our army did not take appropriate measures, although the man was spotted in the surveillance system several times since his arrival on the beach,” the army said. New York times.
Military officials are investigating the man’s motivation to cross the border and how he managed to swim in the winter, according to Jung Ang Daily.
The man is a civilian who reportedly told the South that he wanted to defect from the North.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff said a diving suit and flippers were found on a beach in Goseong, Gangwon, where it first reached shore. It added that the suit was not made of rubber and used a detachable metal helmet often used by North Korean fishermen.
“We take this position seriously and are conducting a field investigation with the ground forces command,” the army said in a statement. “We will take strict follow-up measures and procedures according to the results of the investigation,” he added.
The apparent split would be the second in a matter of months after a North Korean man climbed the border fence in November and lasted a half-mile before being arrested by the South, The Times reported.