WOW: North Korea Defector Swims To South, Evading Border Guards For 6 Hours.
The Feb. 16 incident marks a second embarrassing breach in recent months of the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone, after another North Korean man claiming to be a former gymnast jumped over a fence in the DMZ and went undetected by South Korean guards for 14 hours in November.
On Tuesday, military officials in Seoul detailed the latest crossing, acknowledging that the unidentified man was captured on video 10 times before he was finally noticed by guards and apprehended.
Wearing a diving suit and flippers, the man swam at night in the East Sea — also known as the Sea of Japan — coming ashore at 1:05 a.m. about 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) inside South Korean territory, said the report, released by the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to Yonhap news agency.
He then hid his suit and fins and, unnoticed by guards at a border observation post, entered a drainage conduit that went under barbed wire lining the beach, the report said.
“He presumably had swum for about six hours, wearing a padded jacket inside a diving suit and fins. His clothing appeared to have kept him warm and allowed him to stay afloat,” an unnamed JCS officer told Yonhap. “The tidal current at that time also helped him come south.”
Welcome to freedom.