North Korean defector evaded South Korean soldiers using wetsuit, flippers

0
23

A North Korean man crossed the demilitarised zone into South Korea by swimming around fortifications with a wetsuit and flippers he had hidden under a rock.

After swimming around fortifications such a pressure sensors and barbed wire, the man walked five kilometres into South Korea and was detected no less than nine times by TV cameras before the military found him.

The dramatic escape plan from South Korea took place shortly after midnight on February 16, and has prompted an investigation from South Korea’s military as to how he avoided detection for so long.

South Korea DMZ
After swimming around fortifications such a pressure sensors and barbed wire, the man walked five kilometres into South Korea and was detected no less than nine times by TV cameras before the military found him. (iStock)
A map of two Koreas showing the Demilitarized Zone with North Korea’s capital Pyongyang and South Korea’s capital Seoul is seen at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (AP)

A new report by local news agency Yonhap found the man had used a drainage tunnel unknown to South Koreans to cross into the demilitarised zone (DMZ).

Surveillance cameras caught much of his journey and alarms were sounded twice, but no action was taken by authorities.

Finally, after nine appearances on camera the military found him shortly before 7.30am.

South Korean soldiers parol in Imjingak Park near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Paju, Gyeonggi-do Province this month.
South Korean soldiers parol in Imjingak Park near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Paju, Gyeonggi-do Province this month. (EPA/AAP)
A South Korean soldier patrols near the DMZ with North Korea as tensions rise. (AP)

The man reportedly told officers he was looking for civilians to hand himself in, as he feared detection by soldiers would have him sent back to North Korea.

Defectors from North Korea are given basic welfare payments in South Korea, and it is estimated over 33,000 Koreans from the North have successfully settled in the South in 2019 alone.

A North Korean soldier looks toward the south as a South Korean soldier stands guard at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, South Korea, August 28, 2019. (AP)

Hyperlink here https://www.9news.com.au/national/how-to-follow-9news-digital/29855bb1-ad3d-4c38-bc25-3cb52af1216f
Click or tap on the banner to find out how to download the 9News app for breaking and localised news alerts. (9News)

Kim Jong-Un first north Korean leader to step foot in south Korea since 1953

Most defectors cross into China before settling in South Korea, due to the difficulty and heightened surveillance around the DMZ.