North Korean Soldier Shot by Own Troops as He Defects t…

In 2012, a North Korean soldier scaled three barbed-wire fences to defect to the South. That same year, another North Korean soldier fled across the border after killing his platoon and squadron leaders. In 2015, after walking across the border, a North Korean soldier told South Korean investigators that he was fleeing widespread beatings and other abuse within his military barracks.

The demilitarized zone is one of the world’s most heavily armed borders. Guards on both sides stay alert against possible intruders or defectors.

In 2013, South Korean soldiers shot and killed a South Korean man who was trying to cross a river at the western end of the border.

In 1984, a gunfight erupted at Panmunjom when a citizen from what was then the Soviet Union dashed across the border to defect to the West. North Korean troops opened fire to stop him, and South Korean border guards fired back. One South Korean soldier and three North Korean border guards were killed.

Separately on Monday, the South Korean military said it had detained an American citizen, who had been approaching the inter-Korean border.

South Korean defense, police and intelligence spokesmen all confirmed the detention of an American, but none would provide details on the record.

The United States Embassy in Seoul said it was aware of the report but could not provide further details.

In 2014, an American was detained by South Korean troops on a riverbank near the western border after trying to swim to the North. After he was apprehended, he told officials that he had intended to go to North Korea to meet its leader, Kim Jong-un.

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