S. Korea Military Apologizes For Defector’s Border Crossing

South Korean army soldiers patrol along the barbed-wire fence in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile into the sea on Wednesday, the South Korean and Japanese militaries said, its first public weapons launch in about two months and a signal that Pyongyang isn’t interested in rejoining denuclearization talks anytime soon and would rather focus on boosting its weapons arsenal. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP) — South Korea’s military has apologized for causing public concern about its security readiness, days after it failed to stop a suspected North Korean defector who crossed the heavily fortified border to return to the North.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Won In-choul, told lawmakers that “I am really sorry for causing concerns to the people because of this incident.”

Defecting via the Korean border is rare because it is guarded by land mines, barbed-wire fences and combat troops on both sides. South Korea’s military has come under massive public criticism whenever someone is able to cross the border undetected.


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