News / Asia

South Korean Military Kills Man Attempting to Enter North

South Korean army soldiers walk by barricades set up on Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunjom.South Korean army soldiers walk by barricades set up on Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunjom.
x
South Korean army soldiers walk by barricades set up on Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunjom.
South Korean army soldiers walk by barricades set up on Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunjom.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— South Korea's military shot and killed a man who was making a rare attempt to enter North Korea by floating across a river that runs near the heavily militarized border, the defense ministry said today. “In yesterday's operation we found a John Doe who was trying to defect to North Korea through the Imjin River and our guard forces intercepted the defector by shooting him down,” said South Korean Brigadier General Cho Jong-sul at the defense ministry's regular news briefing.
 
The ministry hasn't stated whether or not the man was South Korean. “As a result of the field investigation after the body was transported, he was confirmed as a man with a surname 'Nam' as we checked a passport, which was one of his belongings. In the process of a joint investigation, the passport was confirmed as his,” said Cho.
 
Cho went on to say that South Korean guards had called out to the man to return, but he ignored the instructions, jumped into the Imjin River and clung to a buoy to try to float across. He added that the shooting was justified as the identity of the man was unknown and he could have been a North Korean soldier.
 
Cho said he was told by the investigation team that the man was deported from Japan after his political refugee application was rejected. South and North Korea remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended only with an armistice. It is illegal to cross the border to the North without permission. 
 
Instances of trying to cross the frontier in such a fashion in broad daylight are extremely rare. South Koreans wishing to travel to the reclusive North, which is accused by Western countries and defectors of systematic human rights violations, generally make their way through China.
 
Tens of thousands of North Koreans are believed to be in China and trying to come to the South. It is estimated that around 25,000 have so far made it to South Korea. The shooting comes amid a thaw in ties between North and South, with the reopening on Monday of the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone just over the border in North Korea. The complex was shut down last April by North Korea as it issued daily threats to attack the South and its ally, the United States. The two sides also plan to hold more discussions on improving the operations of the factory park and are slated to hold reunions of families separated during the Korean War later this month.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid