Feb. 23 – A North Korean man who surrendered to the military of South Korea after defecting across the DMZ was captured earlier than previously reported on surveillance footage on Feb. 16. The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea said Tuesday that the man who allegedly swam across the DMZ was caught 10 times on cameras before the action was taken at 7:20 a.m., MoneyToday reported.Last week, local press reports indicated that the man was first seen on camera at around 4:20 a.m.
A DMZ buffer zone along the coast is in the Civilian Control Zone in the East Sea.The joint chiefs on Tuesday said that the man appeared on video as early as 1:05 a.m. Feb. 16, referring to the four-camera recordings in the region. The man was seen five times between 1:05 and 1:38 a.m., but South Korean guards, according to MoneyToday, did not take sufficient action.The closed-circuit television camera network of the South Korean navy also reported the man’s movements three times between 4:12 and 4:14 a.m., but no alarms were activated in response to the trespassing figure, the report said.
After the man was seen twice between 4:16 and 4:18 a.m. in footage captured A soldier on duty “reported the situation,” near Jejin Checkpoint in Goseong County, according to the authorities.Defense Minister Suh Wook apologized for this lapse last week. Suh said on Tuesday that the defector, who described himself as a civilian, may not have turned in at the first checkpoint because, News 1 said, he feared for his life.
“From what we have confirmed so far, [the defector] said that he thought going into a military guard post could lead to repatriation, and he instead tried to find a civilian home,” Suh said. “It appears he thought he could be shot by armed [South Korean] soldiers at a guard post.”South Korean authorities declined to disclose the name or age of the individual. A military source said, according to News 1, that disclosing his age could put his family in danger in North Korea.