North Korean soldier frags 2 officers, defects across DMZ

Reuters reports:

A North Korean soldier killed two of his officers before crossing the heavily mined border into South Korea on Saturday, South Korea’s defence ministry and media reports said.  [….]

Local media quoted a statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying the North Korean soldier crossed the western section of the border at around noon.

The North Korean claimed that he shot dead his platoon and squad chiefs while on guard duty shortly before his border crossing, according to the reports.

The unnamed defector was being questioned by authorities.

They have officers in charge of squads?

It will be interesting to see what conditions drove him to that desperate act.  I would think that front-line soldiers would have the best food, amenities, discipline, and morale.  Obviously, there’s at least one exception to that.  Given the recent reports that the internal security forces are going hungry, I wonder if the same now is true in front-line army units, too.


  1. I know of one other case of a border guard defecting, which happened several years ago, I believe. I learned about it via a TV documentary. Unfortunately, I cannot recall any details beyond him slipping under an electirified fence on his way to safety while watching a partner die of electricution in the same attempt. This current story leads me wondering why, if one person can shoot and kill several others, this sort of thing does not happen more frequently.

  2. Along the road and rail link that culminates at Dorasan, nr. Paju.

    I imagine that it doesn’t happen more often because it is rare to find an area of the DMZ that doesn’t involve a couple of kilometers of minefields and, as you note, some electric fencing.

    The last such case was in March 2010, when a soldier ran did something similar along the road that links North and South along the east coast not far from Mt. Geumgang. At that time the North Korean soldier didn’t shoot anyone before leaving; as a result his superiors chased him, but were forced back by warning shots from the South Korean border guards.

  3. Incidents like this will become much more common over the next few years….N Korean soldiers probably know by now a S Korean prison is much more comfortable than N Korea’s open prison !

  4. It wasn’t a rail bridge or hunger or propaganda blasts from huge speakers, it was the principles embodied by that woke him up and yes, there will be more . . you can count on it thanks to Josh and his constant efforts to reveal the truth !

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