Seoul has said that a soldier from North Korean fled to South Korea at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). He was followed by gunfire from both sides.
According to Yonhap, the state news agency, the soldier was detected in front of a South Korean guard post amongst thick fog on Thursday morning.
According to a spokesperson from the South Korean joint chiefs of staff, the border guards of the North came looking for the defector over an hour later and approached the military demarcation line (MDL), which is the land border between the two countries, before soldiers from South Korea fired 20 warning shots from a K-3.
The spokesperson added that the sound of gunshots from the North were also heard. However, no bullets were discovered to have crossed the border.
The defector from North Korea was identified as a 19-year-old man carrying an AK rifle at the time of his escape. The guard post was discovered in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province.
The man is currently in custody, and he will probably be questioned regarding the reasons behind his decision to escape.
It is recorded as the second defection across the heavily guarded border in under two months. Another soldier from North Korea was shot multiple times by his comrades after he launched a dramatic escape on the 13th of November.
The South Korean Ministry of Unification said that the number of North Koreans who tried to defect decline by over 10 percent in the first part of this year as compared to the previous year.