South Korea’s defense chief apologized publicly Monday after his military failed to spot a North Korean soldier defecting to the South across their heavily guarded border.
No one detected the soldier – even though he scaled barbed wire fences on the South Korean side of the border – until he knocked on the door of front-line South Korean barracks to say he was defecting. The Oct. 2 incident raised serious questions about South Korea’s military surveillance capabilities.
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told a news conference he “deeply” apologizes for causing public concern over the defection.
“There were an obvious failure in security operations and faults in situation-reporting systems,” Kim said.
A total of 14 officers, including five at the general level, will be investigated for possible punishment over the incident, ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. The ministry has already dismissed three officers from their posts, he said. [Stars & Stripes]
You can read the rest at the link, but with elections coming up in Korea, now is definitely not the time to commit any screw ups that could be used for political advantage.