12/21/2017, 10.08
KOREA
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Escape of North Korean deserter. The fourth this year

Exchange of warning shots between the two armies, but the bullets did not cross the border. Yesterday two civilians fled to South Korea. In all, 15 citizens of the North have escaped to the south.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - This morning, a North Korean soldier escaped to South Korea through the demilitarized zone (DMZ). After the deserter found injured in South Korea last month, this is the fourth military to flee from the socialist republic in a year.

The deserter is a young 19-year-old soldier who appeared at the post office on the west-west side around 8:04 am. After his escape, the North Korean border guards approached the military demarcation line to look for him. The passage was greeted by southern guards with a warning radio broadcast and 20 warning shots. Soon after, the same North fired some shots. None of the bullets crossed the border.

Meanwhile, the Unification Ministry states that two North Korean civilians were found yesterday on a small wooden boat and that a joint investigation to identify them is under way. Last month, another soldier had escaped from the militarized border, and was injured by several gunshots. The health conditions in which he was found opened a window on the harsh humanitarian conditions facing the population of North Korea.

15 North Koreans, including 4 soldiers, have escaped this year to South Korea. A significant increase compared to 2016, when only one soldier and four civilians fled.

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