SEOUL – An American tourist was arrested in South Korea on Monday while trying to cross the border separating the country from North Korea, the South Korean Defense Ministry confirmed to EFE.
The 58-year-old man, whose name has not been released, is from Louisiana and arrived in South Korea three days earlier.
During questioning by the authorities, the man said he wanted to go to North Korea for “political” reasons.
A resident of Yeoncheon County, around 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Seoul, alerted the police when he saw that someone had crossed the Civilian Control Line – established outside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which separates the two countries – and was walking towards North Korea.
The DMZ is a strip of land 4 kilometers wide that is riddled with mines separating the two countries, which have been technically at war for almost 70 years.
The incident took place on the same day that a North Korean soldier managed to defect to South Korea after being shot and wounded by the North Korean army while trying to cross the DMZ.