The invasion by a North Korean soldier was originally said to have been seen as he crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which divides the country - and he was then forced to surrender. However, after gaps in the story wider than those in the border emerged, investigators discovered that the North Korean invader was not detected until he knocked on the door at a guard outpost and the South Korean soldiers inside took him into custody, after going to the bathroom.
The investigation team disclosed that the 22-year-old North Korean soldier had crossed the heavily-guarded border in uniform, climbed barbed wire fences, hitched a ride to Seoul with a group of soldiers who had just been relieved, went sight-seeing around the Blue House and traveled around the Seoul subway system before finally making his way back to the border where he declared his intention to defect.
Questions are now being asked as to how the North Korean soldier evaded detection for so long. A surveillance camera is installed at the outpost to monitor activity in the DMZ, but according to unconfirmed reports it was not recording the border crossing at the time as it was pointed inside the outpost to discourage bullying among soldiers.
However, the military have attempted to play down the case, saying that the outpost was on a heightened state of alert at the time following the reported sighting of a North Korean submarine in the East Sea earlier in the day, so the soldiers were hiding in line with standard operating procedure.
Although defections across the land border are rare, two other soldiers from the isolated Koreanist nation have made their way across the heavily-armed border this year alone, sparking allegations of lax security. In one of the incidents, the defector even drove to safety having apparently spent several months building a road to another South Korean outpost.
Military criticized for lying about NK soldier's defection
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