The Straits Times
Published on Oct 10, 2012

S. Korean army under probe for failed border watch


SEOUL (AFP) - A South Korean army division faces embarrassing questions after a North Korean soldier travelled unchecked across one of the world's most fortified borders and knocked on a guard post asking for asylum.

The 22nd division based in the north-eastern county of Goseong has been placed under disciplinary inspection over the incident on the night of Oct 2, a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official told journalists on Wednesday.

"Inspectors have confirmed a North Korean soldier knocked on the door of the guard outpost and South Korean soldiers answered the knocks," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Initially, military officials on the South side said he had been detected by surveillance cameras and guided to safety. The 22-year-old defector, who stood 160cm tall and weight only 50kg, made his way through rows of electrified fencing dividing the two Koreas under cover of darkness.