South Korea Claims Unidentified Person Crossed into DMZ

South Korean Defense Ministry said that an unidentified man who crossed the heavily armed border from South Korea into North Korea on Sunday is presumed to be a North Korean defector who made the journey in the opposite direction more than a year ago.

On Monday, Defense Ministry officials said they presumed that the man who made the rare crossing to the North on Sunday had first entered the South in November 2020 based on CCTV footages. 

The Ministry added that authorities were still verifying the facts of the case and do not have a conclusion yet.

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), they had earlier spotted the person with surveillance equipment at the eastern front of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and sent troops there but were unable to find anyone. 

A military official said security cameras had captured the person climbing a barbed wire fence at around 6:40 p.m. Saturday, but the guard on CCTV duty had missed it. 

“We sent a notice to North Korea to protect our people yesterday, and there has been no response from North Korea,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan said Monday.

Seung-chan added that there were “no unusual movements of the North Korean military” concerning Sunday’s incident.

The North Korean state media also did not report any crossings over the DMZ overnight.

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