This closed-circuit television footage may be silent, but that makes it no less dramatic and absolutely nail-biting. The dramatic CCTV footage of a North Korean soldier’s terrifying escape to South Korea was released earlier this week by the American-led United Nations Command. This scary event took place on November 13th and shows the defecting soldier driving a stolen army truck through the DMZ (demilitarized zone).
The stolen military jeep first speeds through the North Korean countryside, crossing what is known as the 72-Hour Bridge, where prisoners were once exchanged many years ago. Then the soldier appears to panic and accidentally runs the truck into a ditch, thankfully where he gets stuck is literally feet from the only place on the North/South Korean border for a feasible escape–the DMZ’s “Joint Security Area.”
Unfortunately, as the soldier flees on foot, he is pursued and shot several times by North Korean military. He does manage to escape through to the other side but only by a mere few feet, where he then lays in the piled leaves and awaits his fate.
The last time a North Korean soldier defected across the Joint Security Area was 2007. After 2 North Korean Soldiers violated the border agreement and stepped into the South Korean territory and fired shots it is still a question what will happen to them. That action alone can be taken as a declaration of war and could spell out bad actions to come.
Watch the full video here:
The infrared version of the video shows South Korean soldiers 40 minutes later, crawling toward the defector, who lies wounded about 55 yards south of the border. They drag him to safety where he is then taken aboard a U.S. Black Hawk military helicopter and rushed into surgery at a hospital near Seoul.
The U.N. Command addressed the violations of the pursuing North Korean soldiers and stated that it had completed its investigation of the incident and said that the North Korean army had violated the U.N. Armistice Agreement twice by firing weapons across the border and when the North Korean soldier briefly crossed the border, chasing the defector.
Gen. Vincent Brooks, the American who leads the U.N. Command, said in a statement dated Tuesday that the battalion acted “in a manner that is consistent with the Armistice Agreement, namely — to respect the Demilitarized Zone and to take actions that deter a resumption of hostilities. The armistice agreement was challenged, but it remains in place.”
The defector is being identified only with the surname Oh. In the gunfire during his escape, he was hit five times.
Dr. Lee Cook-jong, a surgeon who treated Oh after his escape, told outlets, including the Times, that when doctors performed surgery on his intestinal wounds, they found parasitic worms 11 inches long which goes a long way to describe the horrid and unsanitary living conditions of North Korea.
“In my 20 years as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a medical textbook,” Lee said.
The parasites should come as no surprise:
“Defectors to the South have cited the existence of parasites and abysmal nutrition. Because it lacks chemical fertilizers, North Korea still relies on human excrement to fertilize its fields, helping parasites to spread, the experts said. In a 2014 study, South Korean doctors checked a sample of 17 female defectors from North Korea and found seven of them infected with parasitic worms.”
Lee told a news conference on Wednesday that the man had regained consciousness and was now stable.
“He is fine,” Lee said, according to Reuters. “He’s not going to die.”
South Korea is reportedly broadcasting on loudspeakers into North Korea about the survival of the escape which is most likely their way of encouraging others to stand and fight back for freedom.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing an unnamed military source, reported Monday that a recap of the soldier’s defection and recovery from his wounds has been repeatedly played on loudspeakers at the border since the dramatic Nov. 13 incident. The Defense Ministry declined to confirm the report.
The wild escape, shooting, subsequent surgeries and slow recovery of the soldier have riveted South Korea. Pyongyang has said nothing about the defection, which is a huge embarrassment because Pyongyang claims all defections are the result of Seoul either kidnapping or enticing North Koreans to flee.
The loudspeakers, reportedly installed at about a dozen sites near the border dividing the two Koreas, were not audible at the Panmunjom border village inside the Joint Security Area jointly overseen by the American-led U.N. Command and by North Korea.
North Korea detests South Korea’s border broadcasts. The South briefly resumed the broadcasts in August 2015 after an 11-year break, after Seoul blamed Pyongyang for land mine explosions that maimed two South Korean soldiers. The broadcasts stopped after the rivals reached a settlement, but reportedly resumed in January 2016 after a North Korean nuclear test.
The broadcasts typically include popular South Korean songs, world news and information about the poor economic and human rights conditions in the North.
With so many heated actions being taken by North Korea, this may very well be one of the last nails in their coffin. Regardless of what some U.N. commander states, it is a fact that North Korea violated agreements and we all know how trigger happy Un is with his little rockets. No matter what anyone does, it is truly only a matter of time before something sets off a war.