North Korean Soldier Who Defected After Killing Two Officers Shares His Experiences
Nicholas Kim, Sept. 30, 2016, 10 a.m.
A teenaged North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea after killing two of his superior officers crossed the border into South Korea, and shared that he was motivated by the lack of hope in North Korea. Investigators quoted the soldier saying that he had learned about the differences between the two Koreas at the joint-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex.
The soldier was posted at a frontline guard post in the Joint Security Area where North Korean soldiers oversee the transaction of goods, as well as watching workers commute to the Kaesong complex.
A government source stated that the soldier had defected since he learned the differences between North and South Korea but also commented that the motive for the killing of the two officers was still unknown.
In the past 10 years, only five North Korean soldiers managed to defect across the DMZ, but it is noted that it is an extremely rare occurrence for men to kill their superior officers. A source stated that the defection comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s plan to take control of the military, which is a state within itself. Kim Jong Un had removed army chief Ri Yong Ho and put the responsibilities of creating revenue into the hands of the Cabinet instead of the military.
A source stated that Kim Jong Un claimed that they should ‘…mercilessly crush impure elements in society who dream of something different’. It is unclear whether this pertains directly towards the news of the defection or was just giving his standard speech.
Reports stated that South Korean personnel heard six shots being fired, and spotted the soldier running down the street after having crossed the DMZ. The teenager claimed that he shot both his platoon and squad leader, dropped his weapon, and ran to defect to South Korea.
North Korean soldiers were later seen collecting the two bodies. Currently there are no tensions between the North and the South in regards to this particular case.