South Korean troopers patrol whereas hikers go to the DMZ Peace Trail within the Demilitarized Zone in Goseong, South Korea. A defector from North Korea was apprehended in Goseong final week after evading South Korean guards for hours.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

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Ahn Young-joon/AP

South Korean troopers patrol whereas hikers go to the DMZ Peace Trail within the Demilitarized Zone in Goseong, South Korea. A defector from North Korea was apprehended in Goseong final week after evading South Korean guards for hours.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

A person escaped North Korea final week by swimming a number of kilometers earlier than coming ashore within the South, the place he managed to evade border guards for greater than six hours, based on a report launched on Tuesday. The Feb. 16 incident marks a second embarrassing breach in latest months of the closely fortified Demilitarized Zone, after one other North Korean man claiming to be a former gymnast jumped over a fence within the DMZ and went undetected by South Korean guards for 14 hours in November.

On Tuesday, navy officers in Seoul detailed the newest crossing, acknowledging that the unidentified man was captured on video 10 occasions earlier than he was lastly seen by guards and apprehended. Wearing a diving go well with and flippers, the person swam at evening within the East Sea — often known as the Sea of Japan — coming ashore at 1:05 a.m. about 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) inside South Korean territory, mentioned the report, launched by the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, based on Yonhap information company. He then hid his go well with and fins and, unnoticed by guards at a border statement submit, entered a drainage conduit that went beneath barbed wire lining the seaside, the report mentioned.

“He presumably had swum for about six hours, sporting a padded jacket inside a diving go well with and fins. His clothes appeared to have saved him heat and allowed him to remain afloat,” an unnamed JCS officer instructed Yonhap. “The tidal present at the moment additionally helped him come south.” The report mentioned the person’s actions had been caught by safety cameras 5 occasions between 1:05 a.m. and 1:38 a.m. and that his presence twice set off alarms with out guards taking discover. Cameras alongside safety fences additionally caught him a number of extra occasions, the report mentioned.

A soldier in control of coastal surveillance was adjusting a computerized safety system on the time one of many alarms was triggered, one other unnamed JCS official was quoted by Yonhap as saying. Believing it to be an error, he ignored the alarm, the officers mentioned, including that the second alarm was missed as a result of one other soldier was distracted by a work-related telephone name. It wasn’t till round 4 a.m., after the person had moved south some 5 kilometers (3 miles) alongside a street, that he was lastly noticed by a guard monitoring a safety digicam. A 3-hour manhunt ensued earlier than he was finally captured at 7:27 a.m. inside a restricted space within the japanese border city of Goseong, positioned some 15 kilometers (9 miles) inside South Korea, the report mentioned, based on Yonhap.

“Service members in control of the guard obligation did not abide by due procedures and did not detect the unidentified man,” the JCS official instructed the information company. Last summer time, a assessment of drainage conduits across the DMZ was ordered after a North Korean defector returned to the North by way of one in every of them on the western finish of the border, Yonhap mentioned. “Over the course of the investigation, we have discovered three drainage tunnels, which aren’t on our checklist,” the JCS official mentioned.