North Korean Soldier Shot While Fleeing Across The DMZ

Tyler Durden's picture

Less than a week after an unusually heavy bout of fog forced President Donald Trump to cancel a hastily scheduled visit to the DMZ, one North Korean soldier succeeded in pulling off one of the most extraordinarily brazen defections in recent memory when he bolted across the heavily fortified four-kilometer border area, successfully completing his trip to the South despite being shot twice by his fellow troops.

The New York Times reported that the North Korean soldier defected through Panmunjom, a village that straddles the border between the two Koreas. Alerted by gunshots, South Korean guards found the North Korean soldier about 55 yards south of the border line that bisects Panmunjom. He was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds to an elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.

As the Associated Press pointed out, North Korean soldiers have occasionally defected to South Korea across the border. But it’s rare for a North Korean soldier to defect by fleeing across the Joint Security Area, where border guards of the rival Koreas stand facing each other just meters away. The fact that he was shot twice during it makes his success all the more improbable.

The soldier bolted from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village, a once-obscure farming village inside the DMZ. He entered South Korea through the southern side of the village, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was taken to a South Korean hospital, the South’s Defense Ministry said. It wasn’t immediately known how serious the soldier’s injuries were or why he decided to defect.

As the soldier was making his escape, the US Navy was conducting an unprecedented show of force in the waters off the peninsula as three US aircraft carriers participated in the drills - the first time in 13 years that three aircraft carriers were mobilized at once.

According to the New York Times, more than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to the South since a widespread famine hit the impoverished North in the late 1990s. Nearly all of them have traveled through China. But a handful of North Korean soldiers and civilians have defected by crossing the 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized zone, which is guarded by minefields, sentry posts and tall fences topped with barbed wire, some electrified.

American presidents often visit Panmunjom and other DMZ areas when they travel to South Korea, but President Trump didn’t seem keen on visiting, perhaps because of the continuing war of words between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Though for the first time, Trump appeared to try and temper his rhetoric (by Trump standards, of course) over the weekend when he tweeted that “someday” Kim and he might become friends.

The last time a soldier successfully crossed through the country’s southern border was in 2012, when a North Korean soldier scaled three barbed-wire fences to defect to the South. That same year, another North Korean soldier fled across the border after killing his platoon and squadron leaders. In 2015, after walking across the border, a North Korean soldier told South Korean investigators that he was fleeing widespread beatings and other abuse within his military barracks.

While defections by South Koreans to the North are much rarer, they do happen: In 2013, South Korean soldiers shot and killed a South Korean man who was trying to cross a river at the western end of the border.

Interestingly, South Korean military said Monday they had detained an American citizen, who had been approaching the inter-Korean border.

Panmunjom was famously the site of a full-blown diplomatic crisis in 1976, when two American army officers were killed by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers while attempting to chop down a poplar tree that was blocking the view of UN observers. The North Korean soldiers claimed the tree had been planted by Kim Il Sung - a story that turned out to be false.

In response,  American and South Korean forces launched Operation Paul Bunyan, sending a swarm of heavily armed soldiers to chop down the tree in a show of force that quickly prompted the North to back down.

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Gap Admirer's picture

Wait... People try to leave paradise? But Dear Leader is providing for ALL of their needs. FREE health care!

PrivetHedge's picture

Yup, the foodstamps are much better in the US, although the medical, education and housing needs constant work at a stream of dead end jobs to buy.

IH8OBAMA's picture

He should have walked backwards and they never would have suspected a thing.


knukles's picture

Is that like the Greenbeannie being murdered by his SEAL brethren over a cash stash?

El Oregonian's picture

I guess this soldier was not UN-attractive...

(as in Kim Jong UN attracted)

Philanthropocalypse's picture

If you have to explain the pun...

BennyBoy's picture


President Short and Fat's soldiers who missed the defector will be used for target practice.

IH8OBAMA's picture

"President Short and Fat's soldiers who missed the defector will be used for target practice."

There are no FAT soldiers in NK.  Fatso Kim is the only fat person in the whole country. 

(Oh, I see what you did there.)

Stuck on Zero's picture

The soldier's name was Logan and he was turning thirty.

PrivetHedge's picture

He'd been hoping to run into Jenny Agutter..

shamus001's picture

a cult classic in my family household.  Next I see it play, I'll be sure to pass on the tradition and have my daughter watch it with me.

Bungbo's picture

Hopefully he is an orphan.

BarkingCat's picture

If he isn't, he will be soon

DavidFL's picture

If health care costs continue to rise in the US, you may see the tide turn and head the other way. Headline - "Thousands of US workers storm across NK border to cash in on free health care provided by the Dear Leader!"

RafterManFMJ's picture

In response, American and South Korean forces launched Operation Paul Bunyan, sending a swarm of heavily armed soldiers to chop down the tree in a show of force that quickly prompted the North to back down.


Already brutally MURDERED TWO US soldiers, but by golly, we’re forcing your to back down. Jesus H Christ, the US military was run by cunts as far back as 1976!

Yog Soggoth's picture

Taking out their frustrations on the tree people is pretty weak. What did they do to deserve this treatment?

Demologos's picture

A couple of howitzer shells fired at the tree would have made the same point more efficiently.

BOPOH's picture

They must have their own Snowdens

taketheredpill's picture

Assuming that all the North Korean soldiers posted near border positions have families...he likely fucked over a few people left behind.


DanDaley's picture

Sadly, yes...they are vindictive SOBs if nothing else...extending to 3 generations.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

They probably encouraged him to do it though.  Don't worry about us.  Have lots of grandkids.  Tell them about us.

Musum's picture

That's the consequence of being in a constant state of war for nearly 70 years.

Quinvarius's picture

Shot in the elbow?  You know that one hurt.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Do Norks have funny bones?  Serious question.

youngman's picture

He can rehab with a Playboy magazine

toady's picture

And doing 12 ounce curls.

mkkby's picture

There must be easier ways. Swim out to sea and around, dark forests...

Dude must'v been pretty desperate to GTFO.

crazzziecanuck's picture

Never forget, North Korean defectors are paid handsomely.  The amount of compensation is directly tied to how exaggerated any claims can be.

jmack's picture

as handsomely as refugees to the US from somalia and syria?

crazzziecanuck's picture

Way more.  A good story from a North Korean can land upwards of $80,000 USD.  This is why the media is filled with all sorts of ludicrous stories about North Korea.

Fake news didn't just start in 2016.  I believe our media about as much as I believe Pyongyang.

N2OJoe's picture

That hardly sounds like more than a lifetime on US taxpayer handouts.

MoreFreedom's picture

You link states they get a few hundred dollars, not $80,000 (the link states at most $500/hr; thus an interview would have to last 4 weeks).

I believe most defectors are looking for a better life than the miserable conditions in North Korea.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Can I defect to SK from USA? I’m asking, uh, for a friend.

Bungbo's picture

SK is nice, especially down in Busan.  Lived there for two years and plan on moving back in the future. 

Two-bits's picture

Operation Paul Bunyan...

" I've Got You Babe..."

pods's picture

The Running Man, for real.


nmewn's picture

I guess the soldier wasn't buying what L'il Kim was

Eyes Opened's picture

He very nearly bought it... permanantly...

Run Forrest Run !!!....

Two-bits's picture

Damon Killian: There are still two stalkers out there. Dynamo and Fireball. Who do you think will make the next kill?

Elderly Lady: Oh my. That's a tough one.

Damon Killian: Come on, Agnes. You can do it. Who do you think?

Elderly Lady: Alright, I think the next kill will be made by... Ben Richards.

Damon Killian: No, no. Agnes, Richards is a runner. You have to pick a stalker.

Elderly Lady: I can pick anyone I choose. And I choose... Ben Richards. That boy is one mean motherfucker.

Joe Mama 3's picture

you should read the book sometime, like The Gunslinger, it's short n sweet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nmewn's picture

Hmmm, front line NORKS fleeing South.

What could it all possibly mean?  ;-)

Two-bits's picture

All you can eat steak and shlimp night at the sizzrer?


Hi, I'm Thaad, I'll be your server this evening. Just one?

Mikeyyy's picture

That has to be the craziest way to defect.  Sentries, minefields, electrified barb wire fences?  WTH?

DisorderlyConduct's picture

Two American army *officers* were sent to chop a tree? Things must have changed. A pair of grunts would be sent now.

Ben A Drill's picture

Soldier was tired of no internet connection.

TalkToLind's picture

And yet most Americans still believe that their own southern border wall is to keep foreigners out (it's really to keep you in).  Silly goyims.  

Sonder's picture

Isn't it funny how Communist paradises always have a bunch of people trying to escape them? Hm, I wonder why.