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Press Release | Nov. 13, 2017

Korean People’s Army Soldier defects in JSA

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, Seoul, Korea—Today at approximately 3:20 p.m. (KST) an individual presumed to be a soldier in the Korean People’s Army (KPA) came across the military demarcation line (MDL) inside the Joint Security Area.

The individual drove a vehicle near the MDL, the de facto border between North and South Korea. He then exited the vehicle and continued fleeing south across the line as he was fired upon by other soldiers from North Korea.

The individual initially took cover near a building on the southern side of the JSA. At approximately 4 p.m., South Korean and American forces recovered and transported him to the Ajou University Medical Center for medical treatment. A United Nations Command security escort and translator accompanied the group.

No South Korean or American forces were harmed during this incident.

United Nations’ Command Military Armistice Commission notified the KPA that the individual is being medically treated at this time and an investigation into the incident is underway.

The Joint Security Area was established after the signing of the Armistice in 1953. The site has served as a place for inter-Korean dialogue since then. It is located approximately 56 kilometers, or approximately 35 miles, from Seoul.