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(2nd LD) N.K. man captured after crossing inter-Korean border in suspected defection bid

All News 11:01 November 04, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead with latest; ADDS more info throughout)
By Oh Seok-min

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean man was taken into custody after crossing into South Korea via the eastern border, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Wednesday, amid a possibility that he could have sought to defect to the South.

The man, whose identity was withheld, was captured about 10 hours after he crossed the border in the eastern county of Goseong late Tuesday. His crossing was detected on the South's surveillance equipment, prompting the military to launch extensive search operations.

"Our military safely captured the man at around 9:50 a.m. In coordination with related authorities, we will carry out investigation into the man, including how he crossed the border and if he has the intention to defect to the South," the JCS said in a statement.

"No unusual moves by the North Korean military have been detected," the military added.

It is not immediately known if he is a soldier or a civilian, though officials said he did not wear a military uniform.

For the search operations, troops were placed on the "Jindogae" alert, which is issued to cope with a possible intrusion of armed guerrillas from North Korea, officials said, adding that the alert would be lifted later after analyzing the situation in front-line areas further.

South Korean marines patrol along a barbed wire fence on the western border island of Yeonpyeong on June 23, 2020, amid growing tensions with North Korea. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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