Brazen North Korean Defector Was Shot 7 Times, But Will Likely Survive

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday, we shared the story of one brazen North Korean soldier’s journey across the heavily fortified DMZ into South Korea - one of the most daring defections by a North Korean in recent memory. But since then, more details about the defection have emerged. The unidentified man was shot an astonishing seven times - and surgeons were able to remove five bullets from his person.

Indeed, it was the first time since 2007 that a soldier successfully defected across the border, Reuters reported.

The DMZ is a four-kilometer long expanse riddled with landmines. Defectors only rarely make it across alive, given the presence of snipers on both sides of the border. Fortunately, the North Korean soldier is expected to survive, though he remained in critical condition on Tuesday.

Giving little warning, the soldier suddenly bolted from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village, a once-obscure farming village inside the DMZ. 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.

Reuters provided more details about the escape:

The soldier had on Monday sped toward the border in a “peace village” in the heavily guarded demilitarized zone, in a four-wheel drive vehicle.


But when a wheel came loose, he fled on foot as four North Korean soldiers fired about 40 rounds at him, said Suh Wook, chief director of operations at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, briefing lawmakers.


“Until this morning, we heard he had no consciousness and was unable to breathe on his own but his life can be saved,” Suh said.


Surgeons had removed five bullets from the soldier’s body, leaving two inside, Suh added, to murmurs from lawmakers who said the soldier’s escape was “right out of a movie”.

The soldier managed to get out of the line of fire when he took cover behind a South Korean structure in a Joint Security Area inside the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

South Korean and US soldiers, fearing more North Korean fire, later crawled to him to rescue him, the United Nations Command said in a separate statement.

North Korea has not said anything about the soldier. Its military had not given any indication of unusual movements on Tuesday, the South’s military said. Typically, the North will announce that defectors have been kidnapped by Southern agents.

While on average more than 1,000 North Koreans defect to the South every year, most travel via China. It is highly unusual for a North Korean to cross the land border dividing the two Koreas, which have been in a technical state of war since the Korean war ended in 1953 with an armistice, but no formal declaration of peace.

The UN Command, in place since the end of the war, said an investigation into the incident was being conducted.

South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo said it was the first time North Korean soldiers had fired toward the South’s side of the border, prompting some lawmakers to complain that soldiers should’ve returned fire.

Moon Sang-gyun, the South’s defense ministry spokesman, said military operations at the JSA were usually conducted under the orders of the UN Command, which is in turn under orders from the US military.

The soldier, who was not armed, was flown in a UN Command helicopter to an operating theater where doctors began working to save him even before he was out of a uniform that indicated he held a lower rank, Suh said.

South Korean officials have yet to reveal where the soldier came from or what his motive for defection might’ve been.

Lee Cook-jong, the surgeon in charge of the soldier’s care at the Ajou University Hospital, told reporters he was suffering from critical intestinal damage.

The UN military armistice commission said it had informed the North Korean military that the soldier, who was found about 50 meters (150 feet) south of a Military Demarcation Line, was undergoing surgery.

Suh said the South had also informed the North on Monday of the soldier and his treatment by informing them through loudspeakers at the border. This month, the North demanded that South Korea return 12 waitresses it said had been kidnapped while working in China in 2016. South Korea said the 12 women, and one man, had chosen to defect to the South.

While North Korea hasn’t said anything yet about the defection, or tried to blame it on South Korea, US or Japanese agents, as news of the brazen defection circulates in western media, the incident could strain relations between the US and North Korea just as they were starting to settle.

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balz's picture

He got balls.

boattrash's picture

No shit! Run Forrest, Run!

ACP's picture

Hope his family made it to China at the very same time.

jbvtme's picture

"fortunately, the soldier was expected to survive"  for whom?  and what will become of the comrades who fired forty rounds and only wounded him?  i'm long north korean internal organs.

auricle's picture

I wouldn't call it a success, the guy got shot seven times. I don't think other DPRK military will be thinking that was a successful defection and be signing on to make that jog to freedom. 

MozartIII's picture

.223 not .308. The dude is wounded as planned. What a lack of shock!!!! Won't mention hole size.

The Black Bishop's picture

And how exactly is this story proven to be true? Any photos or videos? Or is it just another psyops story to convince us that the North Korean needs to be "rescued" with bombs?


So much concocted shit stories with no substance flying around about the NKs. The uncle that was supposedly torn to pieces by dogs. The executions by AA guns. If you believe all this shit I got a few bridges to sell.

IH8OBAMA's picture

I told that guy he should have walked backwards right here on ZH.  Nobody from NK would have noticed him if he had just walked backwards.


Rusty Shorts's picture

I hope he's okay, and his family is safe.


With that said, and, well since Marla is no longer is with us, somebody has got to do it - enjoy.

WVHillbilly's picture

Shot 7 times? With what, a pellet gun? 

Ignatius's picture

No problem.  Norman Casiano was shot 4 times in the back during the alleged Pulse night club shooting and was released from the hospital the next day "about noonish," as he tweeted the next day.  Many miracle recoveries at the Pulse, so I'm hopeful for this NK runner.

MisterMousePotato's picture

About five or ten years ago, I read an article about a Medal of Honor receipient who had just died. Big Mexican guy from Texas, the story of his acts of valor and self sacrifice nearly defy belief. Vietnam war. He was shot 21 times, IIRC, at close range while running back and forth carrying and rescuing other wounded soldiers. He survived. Thinking about this man makes me feel like a worm.


7thGenMO's picture

7.62x39 is more likely to wound vs. kill for 5.56, at < 100m.  A wounded soldier that has to be removed from battle consumes manpower, as well as demoralizes.

I knew a fine man who was a quadraplegic Vietnam vet, partly due to the damage done by surgery to remove the bullet.  The care required to nurse him for 35 years was proof of the "wound round" concept. 

HRClinton's picture

The use .22 cal. It's cheaper.

Obviously just a "flesh wound".  It's not like he lost to the Black Knight. 

end times prophet's picture

I miss Marla too.  I enjoyed the weekend trance mixes she would set up on ZH.

CurveBall's picture

Dark thought, Trojan horse? Infected with “x” and sent free to run across and share that biological “x” with the south. Shot for believability on defection? Eh, must be the cynic in me. Hopefully it was a legit defection and he’s and orphan with zero family and pulls through to tell his story.

jmack's picture

Naw. He is just your average dude.  North Korea is just that horrible.

GoyimUprising's picture

How the fuck would you know?

jmack's picture

     The fact that north koreans are 1-3 inches shorter than their south korean cohort  is indicative of severe nutritional deprivation, a major metric in horribleness, particularly when many cases lead to childhood death due to starvation.

fajensen's picture

When they really mean it, and shoot to actually kill someone, they have to use an AA-gun? 

Otherwise this happens - Bullet-Sponges the lot of them!

HRClinton's picture

First he was shot 1x. Then 2x. Now it's 7x?

Is this a skit from SNL, with The Liar?

Gorgeous's picture

well, 7 bullets were lodged inside him, so that means he was shot...4 times, no, 3.

Yen Cross's picture

  I love 'GOOD NEWS'. 

boattrash's picture

Bad news though, how long do you think his family will survive?

Yen Cross's picture

      I'm sure the guy has above 80 IQ, and calculated the risks. { life vs death decisions} has/have a way of doing that.

   The Nork soldier knew exactly what he was doing, and LIVED to tell his story.

Gorgeous's picture

Probably didn't figure on his "wheel coming off" either.

indaknow's picture

Yeah I remember when I was shot seven times in the back and survived . It was nothing.

Who the fuck writes this stuff?

Kafir Goyim's picture

 doctors began working to save him even before he was out of a uniform that indicated he held a lower rank


What an awkward thing to say and obviously inserted to make clear (whether true or not) that this was a high ranking soldier that was merely dressed up as a low ranking soldier, thus making this defection significant.

Harry Vederchi's picture

Socialist walls keep the people prisoner.

Capitalist walls keep the people's property.

Both are walls and still they're exact opposites. Dont' let them fool you.

GoyimUprising's picture

Not really.  This is Feudalism and only the nobles own property.  The rest of us can barely afford to survive.

PresidentCamacho's picture

Ya but you can leave and if you got a big swinging set of brains you can buy in

GoyimUprising's picture

I'm sure all 7 bullets were from the SK.

GoyimUprising's picture

Why the downvote?  When you see an enemy soldier rushing your border it makes sense to shoot him, no?

Come On Puu See's picture


stacking12321's picture

no, stupid.

at the korean dmz zone, if you see just 1 guy from the other side running towards you, you assume he is trying to defect.

only a total loser or coward would say, look, there's 1 guy running towards us, unarmed, let's shoot him.

but, you are that kind of loser/coward, so, it's not surprising you say that.

Come On Puu See's picture


Gorgeous's picture

One guy, running, wounded, unarmed, and being shot at.  No, i would not consider that being under attack.


booboo's picture

"South Korean officials have yet to reveal where the soldier came from or what his motive for defection might’ve been"

Really, they don't have the slightest clue? maybe it the tree bark diet.

roddy6667's picture

The famine was in the Nineties. Now they have crop surpluses and the farmers are allowed to sell up to 30% of their crops on the open market. Your news about NK is 20 years out of date.

RumpleShitzkin's picture

Sounds wonderful.
And judging by the waves of So. Koreans rushing up north, it must be.

Come On Puu See's picture


Lost in translation's picture

Army uses 5.45 x 39

Border Guards use 7.62 x 39

DaBard51's picture

"When a wheel came loose, he fled on foot, as 4 North Korean soldiers fired about 40 rounds..."

About NK preparedness, this says something...



When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

edotabin's picture

When North Korean jeep you drive, very far you will not go.