Last Monday witnessed an unusual amount of action at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. Reports indicate that an American man had been making attempts to cross into the North though he wasn’t successful. It has also been reported that a North Korean soldier was successful in his defection to the south.
The 2.5-mile-wide strip between South and North Korea which President Bill Clinton years back termed the “the scariest place on Earth,” has separated the two states from the time the Korean War ended. That was in 1953 and no peace treaty was signed.
However, a number of North Koreans have managed to cross over in the past few years. At the same moment a few Americans have been spotted trying to make the opposite journey.
On Monday, the South Korean forces arrested a 58-year-old man from Louisiana after they caught him trying to cross the civilian control line. He was trying to move into North Korea and his motives had been interpreted as political ones by the authorities.
It was a resident of the border county of Yeoncheon, which lies at about 40 miles north of Seoul that saw the man and immediately alerted the police. The U.S. Embassy in Seoul was alerted and from that moment it has been scrutinizing the matter. An official working with the embassy has stated that upon the determination that the citizen is detained they will move ahead to deliver consular services.
A military official said, “The military has raised its alertness against the North Korean military’s possible provocations and is maintaining its full readiness posture.”
In a separate incident, one North Korean soldier who was manning a guard post on the northern side of the Joint Security Area is said to have defected to the South and has been talked over immensely by a lot of his countrymen.
He was escaping across the line when he met bullets from the North Korean soldiers. At the moment, he is receiving treatment in a nearby hospital and that is according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.