South Korea is broadcasting news of a North Korean soldier’s daring escape on loudspeakers to his former colleagues across the border, South Korean media reported.
The soldier, 24, who was only identified by his surname “Oh” by doctors, was shot five times by his fellow service members as he dashed across the border on Nov.13. He is recovering after undergoing surgery at a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul.
The broadcasts, reported by the South’s Yonhap news agency, are part of Seoul’s continuing campaign of psychological warfare against soldiers and others along the border in the North.
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The South’s military’s loudspeakers started blaring the news soon after Oh defected, Yonhap said, citing unnamed military officials. The news agency said the broadcasts described the defection “in great detail,” including how Oh escaped and was shot and his treatment by South Korean doctors.
South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo visited the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone — which Oh defected from — on Monday and applauded South Korean and U.S. troops for taking “very appropriate” measures, Yonhap reported.
The United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission said the North violated the Armistice Agreement of 1953 which ended the Korean War by trespassing on the military demarcation line and firing shots over it. Song said the North’s soldiers had also breached the agreement by carrying automatic rifles, Yonhap reported.
North Korea is believed to have replaced all the border security guards who failed to prevent the soldier’s defection, Yonhap said last week.
The U.S.-led United Nations Command, which helps police the armistice, released closed-circuit television footage of Oh’s defection last week.
A doctor who operated on him at the Ajou University Hospital after he was rescued by South Korean troops told reporters that “an enormous number” of parasites were found in the soldier’s body, including an 11-inch worm. Oh was also described by medics as a “nice guy” who liked American movies and TV shows and South Korean K-pop music.
Since the end of the Korean War, about 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea, mostly across the porous border with China.
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