Outrage in South Korea after North Korean able to wander around for hours in high-security border area

The incident of a North Korean man, who reportedly defected to South Korea after crossing the heavily guarded border and roamed around unchecked for hours, has sparked outrage in Seoul.

The incident took place last week when the man crossed over to South Korea after swimming for several kilometres, a lapse in security the South Korean army said it will address.

According to local Korean news reports, the security officials of South Korea acknowledged that the man was captured on CCTVs more than half a dozen times before the guards finally apprehended him.

It is not the first incident of such a kind as just a few months ago in November, 2020, another North Korean man, claiming to be a gymnast, had crossed over the fence in the demilitarised zone between the two nations and went detected for about 14 hours.

In this latest incident, it is revealed that the North Korean man’s movements set off alarms. It was only after the North Korean national moved several kilometres along a road when he was finally spotted by a guard and was apprehended.

The security agencies acknowledged that the guards failed to abide by due procedure in detecting the unidentified man.

Though security is routinely reviewed and tightened along the border between the two nations, every year hundreds of people, including many women, defect from North Korea to other countries including China and South Korea. They routinely try to cross the border even at risk of being caught by North Korean forces or being deported.

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