SEOUL – A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea on Thursday, crossing on the western side of the border dividing the two countries, without any exchange of fire between troops from both sides, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The low-ranking North Korean soldier appeared in front of a South Korean border guard post around 8:04 am South Korea time (2304 GMT Wednesday) in the fog, a spokesman of the South Korean Ministry of Defense confirmed to EFE.
The soldier crossed to the South at a point of the “western slope” of the DMZ, the militarized border that divides the two countries which have technically been at war since the 1950s.
This is the fourth North Korean soldier to defect to the South this year and the first one following the dramatic desertion of a soldier who was shot five times by the North Korean army in mid-November during his flight through the Joint Security Area (JSA), the only border area where soldiers of the two Koreas are stationed face to face.
However, in this case, the South Korean troops have detected “no unusual movements” of the North Korean Army, according to the Ministry of Defense’s spokesman.
On the other hand, in a statement issued separately on Thursday, the South Korean Ministry of Unification announced that two other North Koreans, in this case civilians, defected to the South on Wednesday by boat.
After the vessel was detected by a Navy patrol in the Sea of Japan (called “East Sea” in the both Koreas), its two crew members expressed their desire to defect.