Things along the already extremely tense North Korean/South Korean border got even more heated last year when a North Korean soldier decided to defect to the South.
This was only the third time a North Korean soldier has tried to escape via the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two countries. The two previous escapes happened in 1998 and 2007.
The dramatic escape was captured on video. The North Korean soldier attempted to flee in a military jeep but got stuck in a ditch on the border. He then ran through the JSA toward freedom as his fellow soldiers shot at him. He was hit multiple times, but South Korean troops eventually crawled through the JSA and dragged him to safety – and to a new life.
The incident actually violated a truce between the two countries. The JSA is supposed to be neutral and free of violence, but the firing by the North Korean troops violated that agreement. A North Korean soldier pursuing the escapee actually crossed into South Korea, which is also a violation. The defector survived his wounds and is recuperating in a hospital in Seoul. Take a look at the dramatic escape below.
Pretty nuts, right?