South Korea has detained a North Korean soldier who crossed the heavily guarded demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas.
He was detected by thermal imaging equipment, said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC). The unidentified man was an active-duty soldier who expressed interest in defecting to Seoul, said the JCS.
The man was first detected late at around midnight on Wednesday near the Imjin river, which flows from North Korea into South Korea across the DMZ on the west of the peninsula. He was picked up by South Korean troops and taken into military custody.
While dozens of people escape North Korea every year, defections across the DMZ are extremely dangerous and rare. In November 2017, a North Korean soldier was shot at 40 times by his fellow troops as he crossed the zone, but lived to fulfill his escape.