South Korean Defense Ministry Spokesman said on Thursday that the "low-ranking" North Korean serviceman made his way across the central part of the heavily militarized land border at around 8:04 a.m. (2304 GMT Wednesday).
According to Yonhap News Agency, the defector managed to cross the DMZ due to poor weather conditions. The North Korean fugitive suddenly appeared before the Southern guard post amid the heavy fog that had covered the border area.
Currently, the new defector is being interrogated by South Korean military officials. According to South Korean media reports, the thorough questioning and scrutiny procedures are usually applied to anyone choosing to leave the northern part of the Korean peninsula to determine whether the fugitive will engage in espionage. Usually, after the meticulous screening, a North Korean is offered a first assignment providing assistance to the South Korean authorities and local non-governmental entities.
On average, about 1,500 North Koreans defect to the South annually. However, the DMZ is so heavily guarded that most go there via a circuitous route: fleeing across North Korea's northern border with China and then entering sympathetic countries like Mongolia or Thailand that will "deport" them to South Korea.