Defecting to North and South Korea

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                       One of the poignant and sad legacies about the divided Korean peninsula are
those who try to defect to either North or South Korea. Two recent cases are that of a North Korean
soldier and an American civilian. The North Korean soldier defected through the Joint Security Area
of the Demilitarized Zone. He was shot at by North Korean forces and received gunshot wound to his
arm and elbow. He was airlifted out of the area to a South Korean hospital. We do not know his name,
and only know that he was wearing a combat uniform, had a low military rank, and was unarmed. One
important thing about the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone—all soldiers stationed in the
place are selected because of their families’ intense loyalty to the Kim Jong-un regime. It is most
certain that this North Korean soldier’s family will suffer the consequences of his actions. In the other
case, an American civilian who has not been identified had tried to cross over into North Korean from
an area where civilians are prohibited from being in. He was caught and turned over to the South
Korean police. The man has been identified as being 58 years old and coming from the State of 
Louisiana. I have to wonder what this person was thinking for trying to go into one of the most vile,
terrible and isolated places on earth. And the thing is, he did not do it right. A far, far easier way
of defecting to North Korea would have been going to China and then crossing the Yalu/Tumen
River which while guarded is nowhere near as guarded as the Demilitarized Zone. I suspect that
the person is not mentally stable. Not only mentally unstable but outright stupid! This person 
should count himself lucky that he was caught by the South Korean military since he might have
shot by the North Koreans.