S. Korea broadcasts latest defection case to N. Korean troops

November 27, 2017

SEOUL, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s military is broadcasting towards North Korean servicemen the news of the young North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea through the heavily armed land border earlier this month, according to military officials on Sunday.

The news started to be broadcast through the South Korean military’s loudspeakers set up along the inter-Korean border shortly after the defection on Nov. 13, the officials said.

The broadcast operation is aimed at disseminating outside news to the reclusive country’s soldiers and border residents as part of ongoing psychological warfare between the two Koreas as they remain technically at war since the Korean War (1950-53) ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The 24-year-old North Korean soldier, identified only by his family name Oh, ran away from his military unit to to the South Korean side of the military demarcation line in the truce village of Panmunjom, where both South and North Korean soldiers keep watch.

He was shot multiple times by North Korean soldiers in the defection process and is recuperating at a hospital after receiving treatment in South Korea.

The officials said that the military broadcast is currently featuring the defection case in great detail, including how he defected and was shot and treated in South Korea as well as how the North Korean side chased and fired at Oh in violation of the Truce Agreement.

Sunday’s broadcast, for example, pointed to the North Korean Army’s dire health conditions, saying that “The nutritive conditions of the North Korean soldier who recently defected through the Panmunjom were unveiled,” according to the official.

The military broadcasting operation has been bitterly protested by North Korea for its potential to provoke defections by North Korean front-line soldiers.

South Korea resumed the broadcast operation in January last year in retaliation for North Korea’s fourth nuclear test. The broadcasts are loud enough to be heard by North Koreans residing as far as 20 kilometers from the border, according to military officials.

The officials also said the military is planning to start its interrogation of Oh as soon as he has recovered from the gunshot wounds.

pbr@yna.co.kr

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