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(LEAD) N.K. man in South Korea's custody after crossing inter-Korean border: JCS

Defense 08:58 August 01, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 2-3, 6, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- An unidentified North Korean man has been taken into custody for investigation after he crossed the inter-Korean border into the South, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Thursday.

The man was spotted moving southward along the Imjin River after crossing the Military Demarcation Line inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the central part of the inter-Korean border at around 11:38 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the JCS.

"After confirming that an unidentified object spotted by our thermal observation devices was a person, our military took him safely into custody in accordance with due protocol," the JCS said.

Details such as his exact identity or whether he crossed the border for defection were not immediately known.

"An investigation is under way to determine the details, including whether he was to defect to South Korea and the course of his border crossing," the JCS said in a brief release, adding the North Korean military in the border regions has not shown any unusual movements.

The last such incident took place in December last year when a North Korean soldier fled to the South after crossing the eastern part of the inter-Korean border.

The Imjin River near South Korea's border town of Paju (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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