The 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone separating South and North Korea is the most heavily fortified border in the world, guarded by tall barbed-wire fences, minefields, sensors and nearly two million troops on both sides.
But one man recently got through because of loose screws.
When the North Korean man, a former gymnast in his late 20s, crawled over the fence on the southern edge of the DMZ this month, he got past sensors set to trigger alarms to alert South Korean guards. It was the South Korean military’s most embarrassing breach of border security in years.
It raised a disturbing question: How could the man have defected undetected?
This week, the South Korean military said it had solved the mystery: The sensors had loose screws that made the system malfunction. There were no indications that the screws had been deliberately tampered with.
[The New York Times]