Dec 04 2010

POTD: North Korean soldier standing guard at the DMZ

by in Asia, North Korea, Photo of the Day

I guess they have more important things to do than clean the windows on the buildings that straddle the Military Demarcation Line in the Korean DMZ’s Joint Security Area. As seen from one of the buildings where negotiations are conducted, this North Korean soldier is standing guard on North Korea’s side of the MDL. On the other side of that concrete line is South Korea, which, when we visited was devoid of any soldiers. It seriously looked like a ghost town.

I was curious if anyone had ever attempted to flee North Korea by running across the MDL to South Korea. As it turns out, such an incident did occur on November 23, 1984 when Vasily Matusak, a Soviet citizen touring North Korea, ran across the MDL into South Korea. Soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army pursued him, firing their weapons. A firefight between the North Korean and US/South Korean forces ensued, resulting in the deaths of one South Korean (Corporal Jang Myong-Ki) soldier and three North Korean soldiers as well as several wounded.

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