Over the years, there have been numerous North Korean defectors trying flee the hermit kingdom one way or another. Earlier this month, a North Korean man had attempted to make the leap of his life by pole vaulting over the border.
The man in his 20’s who took the 12-foot leap was apparently a former gymnast and had crossed into South Korea through the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) at around 7 pm on Nov 3, evading capture for 14 hours before he was found by South Korean soldiers at around 10 am the next day less than a mile away from the border.
Due to the man successfully evading detection at the high-security border, South Korea’s military announced it would now check every sensor at the inter-Korean border. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday said that because of loose screws, sensors had not worked properly, as reported in BBC.
The sensor system was installed at the border in 2015, to alert the guards if there has been any impact or unusual activity around the fences.
South Koreans have also questioned the man’s story as well as his intentions for crossing the border.
If his story was true, and he could actually pole vault over the fence, the unnamed man would have had to jump twice in the presence of the officials. His case is still under investigation.
If his leap of faith is proven to be true, this man is luckier than most as he managed to avoid detection by North Korean troops, evade landmines that litter the DMZ and not trigger sensors on the surrounding fences.
Reports say almost 1,000 people defect from North Korea every year due to how strict and repressive the state is, and its numerous accusations of human rights abuses.