The South Korean military apologized on Wednesday for creating public worries about its security readiness, days after it failed to prevent a presumed North Korean defector from going to the North by breaching the strongly fortified border.
South Korean security cameras spotted the person jumping a barbed-wire barrier at the border on Saturday, activating alarms and forcing a team of six troops to deploy to the area, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
But, according to Lt. Gen. Jeon Dong-jin, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the forces failed to locate the individual.
He added that officials examined the CCTV cameras’ video footage but were unable to discover the individual right away due to the incorrectly adjusted time on the video.
The guy was later identified by thermal surveillance equipment, but officials apparently mistook him for a North Korean aiming to defect to South Korea rather than one returning to the North.
According to Jeon, the authorities subsequently amended their assessment and deployed troops again, but they were unable to apprehend the individual before she reached North Korean territory.
According to Jeon,
The Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Won In-choul, while apologizing to legislators, he said
According to the Defense Ministry, the person who infiltrated the border is most likely a defector who entered the country in the opposite direction in late 2020 to settle in South Korea.
According to ministry authorities, the appearance of the individual in the security video resembles that of the defector.
The defector presented himself as a former gymnast after landing in South Korea and claimed to have climbed across border walls before getting spotted by South Korean troops, according to ministry officials.
Defection via the Demilitarized Area, a 248-kilometer (155-mile) long and 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) wide border surrounded by land mines, tank traps, and military personnel on both sides, as well as barbed-wire barriers, is unusual.
When someone is capable of crossing the border discreetly, the South Korean military receives a lot of harsh criticism from the populace.
It is uncertain what happened to the individual who entered North Korea on Saturday. North Korea has not answered the Defense Ministry’s demand that the person’s safety is guaranteed.