It is said that a North Korean gymnast jumped a fence to the south: NPR

It is said that a North Korean gymnast jumped a fence to the south: NPR

A North Korean man defected to South Korea by jumping a fence along the demilitarized zone separating the two countries.

Ed Jones / AFP via Getty Images


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Ed Jones / AFP via Getty Images

A North Korean man defected to South Korea by jumping a fence along the demilitarized zone separating the two countries.

Ed Jones / AFP via Getty Images

A North Korean man seeking to escape from his homeland made a leap of faith 10 feet earlier this month. The jump that occurred under – or more precisely On — The soldiers’ noses brought him to safety in South Korea, where he told the troops he wanted to defect.

It is not surprising that the man claims to be a former gymnast.

The unnamed man, who is described as being in his late twenties, crossed into South Korea via the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at around 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, evading arrest for 14 hours. He was found by South Korean soldiers at about ten o’clock the next morning, less than a mile from the border. to me The Korean Herald And Yonhap News Agency.

South Korean officials questioned the man’s story and his motives for crossing the border. To prove he was able to jump on the fence, officials asked him to jump twice in their presence, he said The Korea Herald. The newspaper said that the man is still under investigation by South Korean officials.

If the man’s story is accurate, it would be all the more impressive because he managed to avoid detection by North Korean forces, avoided landmines littering the DMZ, and not triggered sensors on the surrounding fences.

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Authorities believe his lightweight and gymnastics experience lend credence to his story and may have helped him escape. The newspaper said the army had earlier said that the fence that crossed the man appeared to be compressed, but there was no evidence that it had been cut or modified.

The man’s escape sparked criticism of South Korea’s military and security systems around the demilitarized zone and why it took the forces so long to locate him.

“We will look into why the sensors are not ringing and make sure they are working properly,” a Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff official told Yonhap Agency.

South Korea’s news agency said Seoul earlier pledged to reinforce surveillance along the border with its communist neighbor in the wake of other security violations. In June 2019, a boat carrying four North Koreans arrived in Samcheok, South Korea Without being disclosed.

The last known North Korean defection occurred in August 2019 when he was a soldier I crossed the DMZ. a Dramatic escape By another North Korean soldier who made headlines around the world in 2017, when he drove a military truck across the border amid a barrage of gunfire from fellow soldiers.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry said a total of 33,523 North Korean defectors have entered South Korea since 1948, which marked the beginning of the official division between the two countries.

The North and South agreed to cease hostilities from the Korean War in 1953, but they remained mutually hostile. Relations have been further strained since the collapse of denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington last year.

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In September, North Korean forces shot and killed a South Korean fisheries official who had accidentally drifted into North Korean territorial waters. North Korea blamed Seoul, saying it It was killing Because of their “improper control.”“citizen.

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