North Korean Soldier Is Shot After Rare Defection in the Joint Security Area

Here is something that continues to be a rare occurrence:

Wounded North Korean soldier who defected across the DMZ is rushed to the hospital. [Korea Times]

A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea through the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the Demilitarized Zone, Monday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

He received gunshot wounds to the shoulder and elbow from North Korean forces while defecting. The soldier was airlifted by a United Nations Command helicopter to a hospital for treatment after arriving in South Korea, the military said.

“A North Korean soldier defected from a guard post on the North Korean side of the JSA toward our side at 3:31 p.m.,” according to a military official.

After hearing several rounds of gunfire, the South Korean military found him fallen and bleeding on the southern side of the JSA, 25 minutes later, according to the military. He was unarmed and wearing a combat uniform for a low rank, with his identity yet to be found, the military also said.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but North Korean soldiers stationed at the Joint Security Area are chosen for their family’s loyalty to the regime.  Assuredly this soldier’s family will be the ones that pay the consequences for his defection.



I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.


  1. @Smokes, my guess is that he is an NIS operative tasked with guarding the defector at all times.

  2. “Could the guy on the far right look any more like a G-man?”

    Actually, the hot new boyband “G-Man 21 Brothers Double Go!” took this opportunity to shoot a Kpop video. After they move the patient into the hospital, 5 more guys in matching skinny-suits join him and they do a dance number while singing “I you bodyguard number one! Uh-ma uh-ma la la la”.

    Nice theory that he is an NIS bodyguard… but then he wouldn’t be out in front with his back to the action.

    Hopefully, he is bait and the real NIS guy is dressed like a taxi driver, 20 steps behind everyone, and carrying an HK MP7A1 under his ajushi jacket with a Hyundai logo.


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