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Young N. Korean soldier defects to S. Korea via DMZ Updated: 2015-06-15 18:42:03 KST

A North Korean soldier in his late teens defected to the South earlier today.
South Korean authorities say the soldier had walked across the D-M-Z, which is the heavily-guarded military demarcation line between the two Koreas.
Won Ji-hyun has this story.

It was around 8 o'clock this morning that a young soldier from North Korea was found on South Korean soil.
An official from Seoul's defense ministry says the soldier in his late teens walked across the eastern side of the inter-Korean border to end up in Hwacheon of South Korea's Gangwon-do province.

Although the soldier had crossed what's known to be one of the most heavily militarized zones in the world, the authority said that no fires were exchanged in the incident.
But it did raise tensions on the border, as South Korean soldiers prepared for a possible confrontation with the North during the crossing.

The soldier expressed his will to defect through a South Korean guard post and told authorities that he wanted to escape the harsh reality in North Korea, which included regular beatings.
Although hundreds of North Koreans try to flee their homeland every year, it is rare for them to cross the land border, as it's guarded by tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides.

In fact, this was the first time in almost three years that a North Korean defector actually crossed the DMZ to get to the South.
The young soldier from this morning is still under investigation.
South Korean authorities said they will release more details on Tuesday.
Won Ji-hyun, Arirang News.

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