South Korean soldiers fired multiple warning shots as a low-ranking North Korean soldier was crossing the heavily militarized border in order to defect from the authoritarian regime.
According to a South Korean defense ministry official, more than twenty warning shots were fired at North Korean troops who were dangerously approaching the demarcation line looking for the missing soldier.
Two North Korean soldiers risked their lives to defect to South Korea knowing they could be either killed if they were caught in the last five weeks, a clear sign of the rising tension between the two Koreas. More than four soldiers defected to South Korea in 2017.
The low-ranking North Korean soldier used the heavy fog to cross the border, all under surveillance from South Korean surveillance equipment. The Korea Herald reported that “the defected soldier is thought to be 19 years old and has been in the military for only two years, according to the South Korean military. He is under investigation by the National Intelligence Service and Defense Security Command.”
North Korea has been particularly vocal in 2017 as its leader Kim Jong Un is trying to achieve full military nuclearization in order to defend himself from outside threat and influence. Kim’s United Nations Ambassador even told the General Assembly that his country was ready for a nuclear war within the Korean Peninsula.