Last month, one brave North Korean soldier committed the most brazen defection in recent memory when he made a madcap dash for the border that ended with him being dragged across by South Korean and American troops after being shot seven times. The whole incident was caught on video:
Amazingly, the defector survived, leaving South Korean doctors to marvel over his resilience as they tended to his wounds and pulled enormous parasitic worms from his intestines - a testament to the brutal quality of life in the world’s most isolated state.
And as if his defection wasn’t enough of an embarassment to the North Korean military, which reportedly removed the defector’s erstwhile comrades from their posts - a sign that they will face a severe punishment for failing to stop him - another soldier successfully defected across the DMZ on Wednesday.
But instead of leading North Korean soldiers on an intense car chase, this time, the defector simply walked across the heavily fortified border, according to the BBC.
A North Korean soldier has walked across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to defect, the South's military has said.
The "low-ranking" soldier emerged from thick fog and appeared at a checkpoint shortly after 08:00 (23:00 Wednesday) reported South Korean media.
No shots were fired during the incident and Seoul is now investigating the soldier's intentions, said South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff
This most recent defection marks the second in two months. A rate unprecedented in recent memory.
While thousands of North Koreans attempt to defect every year, those brave enough to chance escape, knowing full well that they and their families will be severely punished - even killed - if they fail, typically sneak across the northern border into China, and eventually make their way into South Korea.
Even the defector who escaped last month - whose name has not been released - was incredulous when initially regained consciousness. His first words to the medical staff were, reportedly:“Is this actually South Korea?"
That incident marked the first time a North Korean soldier had successfully crossed the DMZ into South Korea since 2007. But now that two soldiers have successfully completed the precarious journey, it’s likely that more will attempt to follow - even as the North Korean government will likely suppress all news related to the incident.
Meanwhile, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that South Korean soldiers fired 20 warning shots at a squad of North Korean troops hunting for the defector on the militarized border.