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N. Korean soldier crosses border to defect to S. Korea: military

All Headlines 22:21 June 13, 2017

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea on Tuesday after crossing the border bisecting the two Koreas, Seoul's military said.

"A North Korean soldier crossed the military demarcation line (MDL) in the middle sector (of the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ) at around 7:50 p.m. and came to the South's guard post (GP)," Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The JCS added that the South Korean soldiers first found the North Korean soldier and guided him to the general outpost (GOP) after checking his intention to defect and securing him in custody.

Questioning is currently underway to find out what caused him to flee to the South and how he made it over, the JCS said, adding that there was no exchange of fire between the two Koreas during his defection.

"We currently don't have any information on the defector at this moment," a South Korean military official said on the condition of anonymity. "We will probably find out his reason for defection tomorrow morning."

This is first time since Sept. 29, 2016, that a North Korean soldier defected to South Korea through the border. Since 2010, five to 10 North Koreans are reported to have defected to the South by crossing the MDL.

The two Koreas technically remain at war to this day since the Korean War (1950-53) ended in a cease-fire and not a peace treaty.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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