Defector soldier 'committed murder in North': Report

The North Korea defector running out from a vehicle at the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarised Zone at the truce village of Panmunjom.
The North Korea defector running out from a vehicle at the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarised Zone at the truce village of Panmunjom.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - A North Korean soldier who defected to the South under a hail of bullets in November has confessed to committing murder in the North, a news report said on Tuesday (Jan 23).

South Korean officials said they had no comment, noting the questioning of the 24-year-old soldier had not yet wrapped up.

Oh, identified only by his surname, has told investigators that he had committed a crime involving murder in the North, the conservative Dong-A Ilbo daily said, citing an unidentified intelligence official.

The soldier's defection made headlines worldwide with footage showing him driving to the border at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone before dashing across as his comrades tried to kill him.

The soldier has been recovering in hospital from multiple gunshot wounds and doctors will decide this week whether to discharge him, Yonhap news agency said, in which case he will be transferred to an adaptation centre for defectors.

There is no extradition treaty between North and South Korea.