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.
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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid