Teenage North Korean soldier walks through a mine field to defect to the South [Video]

I can’t imagine the kind of courage and desperation it must have taken for this 19 year-old private to trek across the 2 1/2 mile demilitarized zone, which is full of land mines and bristling with soldiers and guard towers, to reach the safety of South Korea. And it involves so much more than his defection. Kim Jong-Un will almost certainly have the young man’s family executed for this transgression. He takes each defection personally and promises them that he will kill generations of their family if they bolt. To do what this boy just did, shows a level of sheer desperation that is unfathomable. His decision and his choice will haunt him for the rest of his days – but at least he will live.


North Korean soldiers guard the demilitarized zone on the border between the two Koreas.
A teenage North Korea private has crossed the heavily mined and guarded area in a rare defection
to South Korea (file image).

From the Daily Mail:

A teenage North Korean soldier walked into South Korea in a rare defection through one of the world’s most fortified frontiers, saying he deserted his camp because of habitual beatings.

The 19-year-old soldier surrendered himself to South Korean border guards around 8am (11pm GMT) after crossing the frontier in Hwacheon, northeast of Seoul, the South’s defence ministry said.

The defection sparked a tense stand-off between North and South Korean border guards across the 2.5-mile wide and 248-km-long demilitarised zone (DMZ), but there was no conflict.

‘We’ve confirmed his will to defect after he reached our guard post,’ a ministry spokesman said.

The North Korean soldier told investigators he had decided to defect ‘because of habitual beating at his camp while harbouring complaints about the reality of his homeland’, the spokesman added.

The man identified himself as a private, the lowest rank among the North’s enlistees, it said.

Hundreds of North Koreans flee their isolated homeland each year but it is rare for defectors to cross the land border, marked by barbed wire and guarded by tens of thousands of troops on both sides.

Despite its name, the DMZ separating the two Koreas, which remain technically at war, is one of the world’s most heavily militarised frontiers, bristling with watchtowers and landmines.

Most North Koreans who flee repression and poverty at home cross the porous frontier with China first before travelling through a Southeast Asian nation and eventually arriving in South Korea.

In 2012, a North Korean soldier walked unchecked through rows of electrified fencing and surveillance cameras, prompting Seoul to sack three field commanders for a security lapse.

In August last year, two North Koreans swam across the Yellow Sea border to a South Korean frontline island.

So far about 28,000 North Koreans have resettled in the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, mostly after the great famine in the 1990s.

But the number of escapees has decreased sharply since North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un took power following the death of his father in late 2011.

Under Kim, the isolated state has tightened border security, while China has launched a crackdown on North Korean escapees on its side of the border.

China – the North’s sole major ally – typically considers them illegal economic migrants and repatriates them despite criticisms from human rights groups.

Many face severe punishment including, rights monitors say, torture and a term in a prison camp once they are sent back to the North.

This is what it means to live under a tyrannical regime such as North Korea, bolstered by an ally such as China who believes just as they do in ruling with an iron fist. The young soldier fled because of beatings and abuse within his unit. The North Koreans are some of the harshest task masters to stalk the planet and they are vicious. The defector’s tale gives lie to North Korea’s claim that they are a paradise – that’s one really hot paradise. It’s hellish. This teenager was willing to risk his life and to risk the lives of his family, just to get away from his superiors. This is what communism produces – desperation, war and death. Something Kim Jong-Un excels at.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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