N. Korean man defects through sea border: official

from Agence France-Presse
Published on 23 Aug 2013

08/23/2013 04:44 GMT

SEOUL, August 23, 2013 (AFP) - A North Korean man turned up at a house on a South Korean island Friday having apparently succeeded in defecting overnight via a rare and dangerous sea border crossing.

The man knocked on the door of a home on Gyodong island at 3:40 am (1840 GMT Thursday) and identified himself as a defector from the North, military authorities said.

He is in custody and being questioned, a defence official told AFP, adding that it was not immediately clear "how he made the crossing" during a stormy night with powerful tides.

Defections across the sea or land border between the two Koreas are rare. Most defectors flee to China and then a third country such as Thailand before coming to the South.

In September last year, a North Korean man made it to Gyodong island by clinging to a log that he said had been swept out to sea by flood waters.

A month later, a North Korean soldier cut his way undetected through rows of electrified fencing on the land border.

The two incidents, which came at a time of heightened military tension, sparked public concerns about security lapses and led to the dismissal of a South Korean army division commander and two field commanders from their posts.


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