North Korean soldier defects across border, South says

A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea on Monday across the heavily fortified border that separates the two countries, South Korean authorities said.

The soldier crossed the Military Demarcation Line from the eastern North Korean province of Gangwon, said a South Korean Defense Ministry official, who declined to be identified.

Further details on the circumstances of the defection weren’t immediately available.

The border between North and South Korea is considered to be the most heavily militarized in the world. The two countries technically remain at war, because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armed truce and not a peace treaty.

North Korean soldiers have made it across the highly sensitive zone in the past.

In 2012, one managed to cross the border unnoticed and knock on the door of a South Korean barracks, embarrassing the South Korean military and prompting a public apology from the defense minister at the time for the security lapse.

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