13:22 GMT +316 October 2019
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    North Korean soldiers stand guard prior to a reunification rally in the border village of Panmunjom at the DMZ in North Korea, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015.

    South Korea to Deport American Who Tried to Sneak Across DMZ Into North Korea

    © AP Photo/ Dita Alangkara
    Asia & Pacific
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    South Korean officials announced Wednesday that an American man from Louisiana will be deported back to the US after he was caught trying to sneak into North Korea Monday.

    The man, identified only as "A," was detained by military officials after a local resident from the Baekhak Ward informed soldiers from South Korea's 28th Infantry Division that a man was seen wandering past the 25-mile-wide Civilian Control Line. Officials later caught up with "A" in the Misan Ward and arrested him for crossing into the restricted area without a special government permit.

    Though early reports shot down the notion that the violator had a political motive, the man did indeed tell investigators that he believed his trip to North Korea would in some way help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Stars and Stripes reported.

    Suh Wook, a senior South Korean military officer, told lawmakers on Tuesday that the man only had extra underwear in his possession at the time of his arrest — he did not have equipment to help him get over the barbed wire fences along the Demilitarized Zone. Created in 1953 at the end of the Korean War, the tightly patrolled DMZ serves as the border dividing the two Koreas, and is intended to be impenetrable.

    An officer who requested anonymity later told Stars and Stripes that after military officials handed the 58-year-old Louisianian to a local police agency, officials there decided they would send the man to the immigration office for deportation. According to the officer, who is associated with the Gyeonggi Bukbu Provincial Police Agency, the decision was made in line with a law that allows deportation of foreigners if offenders pose a threat to public interests and security.

    Back in 2014, another US citizen was arrested by South Korean soldiers for allegedly trying to swim across a river into North Korea, AP reported. The swimmer was described at the time as a 29-year-old Texas man who had aspirations to meet North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

    In news from the other direction, North Korea saw its first defection across the DMZ in a decade this week, when a North Korean soldier successfully fled south through the Joint Security Area. He was shot in the process and has been in and out of surgery, but is expected to recover. 


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    DMZ, American, Deportation, North Korea, South Korea
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