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International - August 3, 2020

South Korean general fired Over defector’s return

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Officials said a South Korean rear admiral was removed from command on Friday after a military failed to prevent a man from illegally defecting back to North Korea. The man’s departure was revealed over the weekend only when Pyongyang insisted that he did not have any coronavirus cases.

Mutiny from the south to the north is extremely rare, and the entire DMZ is not uncommon. The DMZ divides the peninsula and is one of the safest borders in the world. However, the South Korean military later confirmed that a 24-year-old man surnamed Kim climbed a drain on Ganghwa Island in Seoul, northwest of Seoul, then swam across the Han River and headed north. On Friday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) stated that King was spotted by surveillance cameras or thermal observation equipment seven times during the trip, but the military did not intervene.

They added that when Kim Jong Il arrived by taxi at 2:18 in the morning, a guard found the “light” at a sentry 200 meters from the water pipeline, but did not take any action. Officials from the Seoul Ministry of Defense told AFP that the Marine Corps General Baek Kyung-soon had been removed from his post due to a security failure. The joint military stated that it took Kim Jong-Il about 12 minutes to climb the drain, and it took about an hour to travel through the Han people. King first defected to the South in 2017, when he was still swimming across the river. Before he returned, he was being investigated for allegations of rape in the South.

Human rights organizations say that defectors will face severe punishment if they return to the north. Health authorities in the South said that his name did not appear in the database of confirmed coronavirus cases, nor did it appear in their contact list. But analysts say that after months of denying any circumstances, the North is catching his arrival and targeting the coronavirus to Seoul.

At the beginning of last year, after the collapse of a summit between Kim Jong Il and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, the North Korean nuclear relationship fell into a deep freeze. The summit discussed North Korea’s willingness to give up in exchange for easing sanctions.

Friday’s announcement came days after Southern Defense Minister Zheng Jingdou apologized for Kim Jong-il’s departure: “Even if I have been told a hundred times, I have no excuses.”

Source: Abrempong news online

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