ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on October 9th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

North Korean Soldier Defected Across the DMZ Undetected

Here is something that is really not good for the ROK military leadership in regards to the recent defection of a North Korean soldier across the DMZ:

Opposition lawmakers strongly censured the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday following revelations that a North Korean soldier slipped through the heavily fortified border, passed checkpoints and reached a South Korean military base undetected in a defection attempt.

The North Korean solider was taken into custody only after he arrived at a South Korean barracks near the eastern front shortly before midnight last Tuesday. The soldier told investigators that he walked past several checkpoints undetected.

During a parliamentary audit of the government, Rep. Kim Kwang-jin of the main opposition Democratic United Party criticized holes in the border defense, saying South Korean troops could have been harmed if the defector had been carrying weapons.

JCS Chairman Gen. Jung Seung-jo said the military made a “big mistake.”

It was still under investigation how the North Korean soldier crossed the border.  [Yonhap]

Something else I found interesting read the rest of the article was that this was the third defection of a North Korean soldier this year.  One defected in August and another defected just few days before this recent defection.  That makes it three defections in three months.  The number is still too small to draw any trend from, but if the number of North Korean soldiers defecting increases this would be an interesting development.  That is because the soldiers placed along the DMZ are usually from respected families in order to prevent defections to the South.  If even soldiers from respected families are defecting that shows there are some serious internal issues within North Korea.

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  • Teadrinker
    5:16 pm on October 9th, 2012 1

    “Opposition lawmakers strongly censured the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday following revelations that a North Korean soldier slipped through the heavily fortified border, passed checkpoints and reached a South Korean military base undetected in a defection attempt.”

    The opposition counts on young people being unaware that North Korean soldiers crossing the DMZ and returning back is a common occurrence. I read somewhere that they think it’s part of some initiation into the border units. Sometimes they steal items from the farmers, other times they simply give them a good scare.

    5:35 pm on October 9th, 2012 2

    For every one that you see there is another 10 that you don’t.

  • MTB Rider
    5:39 pm on October 9th, 2012 3

    Counting coup? I wonder if South Korean soldiers ever do the same thing? Slip into the Propaganda Village to take pictures of themselves at the high rise with no roof? Or at least steal one of the North Korean Southern Limit Line warning signs. :grin:

  • Teadrinker
    6:31 pm on October 9th, 2012 4


    I wouldn’t be surprised, actually. I had a student many years ago who was in the South Korean special forces. The only thing he would say about his training is that it involved learning how to infiltrate into North Korea.

  • Teadrinker
    6:38 pm on October 9th, 2012 5

    …but, as I said, that was years ago. It’s was kept a secret for years, but it’s now a known fact that South Korea sent teams into North Korea in the ’60s, ’70s and maybe even the 80′s. Some of these men, the ones who survived the training (it was harsh), were deployed, and made it back, stage a street protest about 10 years ago demanding compensation they had been promised but never received. To prevent the cops from trying to disband them, they had lit propane canisters on the road. It was quite impressive.

  • Bob
    6:42 pm on October 9th, 2012 6

    If you got the cream of the corp defecting then you got some issues…This could be interesting maybe we’ll star to see 2-3 maybe 4-5 a month?

    Could become like a landslide…Maybe this is the beginning of the fall.

  • Teadrinker
    7:00 pm on October 9th, 2012 7


    You might be on to something.

  • Teadrinker
    7:02 pm on October 9th, 2012 8

    Then again, hasn’t the North Korean government been taking away some of its military’s privileges? I read something about it taking over military run factories and businesses, which deprives the brass of slush funds. Could this defection be meant as a message to Kim Jong-eun from the military leaders?

  • Teadrinker
    7:03 pm on October 9th, 2012 9

    …I’m would guess it’s a real symptom of how morale is suffering, as you suggest.

  • MTB Rider
    7:47 pm on October 9th, 2012 10

    Yeah, I don’t see how letting a few low ranking soldiers “slip away” would be a message of “Shape Up or Ship Out” to Kim Jong Un. I remeber the pics of the norK soldier who defected in 2010. He was nearly starved to death, and said he had to escape before he died. And since he was also most likely from the “elite” families, what does that say?

    The Military might be losing their cash cows back to the Kim family, but their “message” would be deliberate sabotage to the factories and mines rather than lowering the mouths to feed problem.

  • tom langley
    8:07 pm on October 9th, 2012 11

    MTB Rider #3, Teadrinker #4. When I was stationed in Korea in 1979-1980 I lived with a Korean woman. She said that her brother was in the ROK Army & that he had infiltrated into North Korea before a number of times. I heard one time about a ROK Army Command Sergeant Major who got drunk & hit a ROK Army commissioned officer & was busted all the way down to private. He sneaked into NK & cut off the ears of a bunch of NK soldiers & brought them back. Anyway according to the story I heard (I don’t know if this story is true or not) he got his rank back.

  • Baek In-je
    8:56 pm on October 9th, 2012 12

    The ROK army is a joke. So, North Korean regulars can just waltz into South Korea? Reminds me of a time that a North Korean MiG flew south over the border and flew past Seoul. He ended up landing at Suwon Air Base and defecting, but the Koreans couldn’t get it together enough to sound warnings or scramble fighters. They didn’t know what this guy was going to do.

  • Tom
    9:15 pm on October 9th, 2012 13

    Reminds me of Kim Shin Jo – a North Korean special forces soldier who was part of the group that infiltrated South Korea in 1968 to kill the president. He testified they deliberately chose the American sector of the DMZ to infiltrate because it was the most lax and guarded by incompetent GI’s who didn’t care, making it much easier for the North Koreans than the areas guarded by the South Koreans. :roll:

    9:28 pm on October 9th, 2012 14

    Tom just pointed out that the current ROK GIs guarding the DMZ are equally as incompetent as the US GIs of the late 60s. Good point, Tom. Very relevant as well.

    9:35 pm on October 9th, 2012 15

    @12: There is an element of strategy involved here that you may not understand. While a MiG did get across, the backlash of shooting it down was far too great. The Korean War is still being waged, but both sides are trying to keep it at a psychological phase. Both sides know the toll of taking it beyond the current phase and into a combat phase. That MiG was a huge psychological win for the ROK. It also makes for a nice piece at the Korean War Museum :-)

  • Tom
    9:38 pm on October 9th, 2012 16

    American GI’s are incompetent period. You guys couldn’t defeat the Viet Cong, nor the Iraqis, and even the few Afghans, despite having numerical and technological advantages that are far above those third world countries. Totally incompetent and useless.

    Remember that Chinese sub of couple of years ago that popped up right inside the US Navy’s defense ring which was supposedly bullet proof tight?

    9:51 pm on October 9th, 2012 17

    ROK Army: Supported US in Vietnam
    ROK Army: Supported US in Middle East
    ROK Army: Pushed back with the US to the 38th parallel by Chinese forces

    I never thought I would say this in my old age, but I am rubber you are glue (or your case, maple syrup)

  • Baek In-je
    11:12 pm on October 9th, 2012 18

    “American GI’s are incompetent period.”

    The most well-equipped and most powerful army the world has ever seen, and its soldiers are incompetant? Really? That is even below your intelligence to say. Of course, we don’t have alcoholic starcraft chain smokers “defending” our country like you have in Korea.

    Really, Tom?

  • michael nibert
    2:27 am on October 10th, 2012 19

    Defection or trying our patience?

  • Leon LaPorte
    3:16 am on October 10th, 2012 20

    12. Are you talking about the one that happened around the 97 or 98 time frame involving one nK COL Lee? I assure you both US and ROK fighters intercepted. He wagged his wings signalling his peaceful intent (one fighter isn’t going to do much anyway). They wanted him to land at Osan but he didn’t have enough fuel to get there, therefore they escorted him into Suwon. The response was quite quick and effective for all involved. I was at Suwon at the time. He parked his aircraft with RoK soldiers, weapons at the ready, surrounding him. I was within 100 feet. Or perhaps you’re talking about another incident?

  • Leon LaPorte
    3:18 am on October 10th, 2012 21

    I figure the Samsung SGR-A1 security robots detected him as possible future cheap labor and let him pass.

  • DTS
    4:02 am on October 10th, 2012 22

    Tom #13 & 16.

    The nK used to run through or infil the US sectors of the DMZ because we had tighter rules of engagement. The KPA knew exactly how much time they had to screw around or get past ambush patrols and the Guard Posts.

    WRT defeating the Charlie, the Iraqi’s, the Afghani’s and any other boogeymen you chose to conjure up your full of crap. The military doesn’t get it’s ass handed to it, it’s the foreign policy that we usually lose ground on.

  • Tom
    4:29 am on October 10th, 2012 23

    :lol: :lol: :lol: You guys are NOTHING when you don’t get airstrikes or artilery and all your high tech toys. Fight man to man on equal terms, it’s a different story. That’s why you can’t defeat a bunch of goat herders living in caves. :lol:

  • Baek In-je
    4:43 am on October 10th, 2012 24

    We sure as hell could defeat a bunch of kimchee makers hand to hand.

  • Tom
    5:03 am on October 10th, 2012 25

    How can you defeat kimchi makers if you can’t even defeat the goat herders? Silly boy. :lol:

  • Kcbill
    5:13 am on October 10th, 2012 26

    This thread is full of Internet tough guy talk made by folks who will likely never meet face to face, otherwise it probably wouldn’t be said. Pathetic to say the least. :roll:

  • Vince
    5:18 am on October 10th, 2012 27

    Setting folks on fire or blowing them to bits is a pretty damn good method. Beats the hell out of getting your hands dirty. If I have to choose between facing a bad guy in a fair fight or playing unfair, well, F0KK being fair.

    Surviving is a pretty nice reward.

  • DTS
    5:22 am on October 10th, 2012 28

    @Tom #23

    Money talks bullsh*t walks. Who do you speak for?

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:15 am on October 10th, 2012 29

    I always heard there’s no such thing as a “fair fight.” :lol:

  • Conway Eastwood
    10:23 am on October 10th, 2012 30

    Popcorn, guys?

  • chefantwon
    7:00 pm on October 10th, 2012 31

    Gee, like all those tunnels were not enough? This has been happening since the end of the war. It’s the same old story, defections happen every so often and the boarder while being a somewhat fortress can be breached very easily by both sides. How often is anyones guess and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

    The main thing is to get to these defectors and find out what the conditions are like up there with the new Kim in command. Since dear old dad didn’t have enough time to groom his heir to the throne before he went off into the pit of despair, the new leader has to garner the support of the military and steady his powerbase. If there are more than the normal amount of military defections, that may signal a major problem with the new leaders rule.

    Of course it may just be the “get the hell out of dodge before the winter sets in, and I can actually find something to eat other than grass every other day” type of thing.

  • RustledJimmies
    8:36 pm on October 10th, 2012 32

    Man yall are still letting tom rustle your feathers? I thought it was settled that he was only around to do as such…..Anywho, i read all the comments but no real opinions about whether this will really mean anything in the long run. I mean the guy did kill two people to get over here. Not the most eloquent way to defect….

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:08 pm on October 10th, 2012 33

    32. I was thinking bonus points, actually.

  • guitard
    11:33 pm on October 10th, 2012 34

    DTS wrote:

    @Tom #23

    Money talks bullsh*t walks. Who do you speak for?


  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:14 am on October 11th, 2012 35

    @31 – People are making a stink about this because this defector was not some special forces type trying to sneak into the ROK. Instead he is just a guy who climbed over a fence and walked over to the southern guard post undetected.

  • Leon LaPorte
    4:17 pm on October 11th, 2012 36

    35. Under tough circumstances an average man caught up in extraordinary events can be capable of unexpected feats.

  • MTB Rider
    4:53 pm on October 11th, 2012 37

    Actually, Tom speaks FOR China, he just speaks FROM Canada! :lol:

    It was fun watching him squirm when the North Korean Navy took three Chinese fishing boats from International Waters and hold them for ransom, just like a bunch of Somali pirates. Eventually, he just blamed the victims.


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