Warning: Some viewers might find the above video disturbing.
It’s the stuff of action movie climaxes, but IRL.
A new video captured by the United Nations Command depicts a North Korean soldier defecting by crossing the “Joint Security Area” (JSA) of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The gunfire that the escape attempt drew is a violation of the truce between North and South Korea, the first such violation since a similar escape attempt in 1984.
In the video, the former soldier flees by military jeep. But when he gets stuck in a ditch right on the border, the soldier — whose last name is Oh, according to Stars and Stripes — sprints from the driver’s seat and attempts to run. His former fellow soldiers rain bullets on him, and he gets shot multiple times. South Korean soldiers eventually crawl through the JSA and drag him to safety.
According to Stars and Stripes, the South Korean Unification Ministry, which monitors relations with the North, says it’s only the third time a soldier has ever tried to escape via the JSA, with previous attempts in 2007 and 1998. In 1984, a Russian tourist attempt resulted in a gun battle between North and South Korean forces.
The JSA is supposed to remain a neutral location free of violence, per the terms of the truce. And in the video, in addition to the shots fired in the JSA, a North Korean soldier pursuing the defector actually crosses in to the South, which is another violation. Luckily, nothing has escalated since.
Oh is now recovering in a hospital in Suwon, a city south of Seoul. Apparently he really likes watching American shows like CSI. Welcome to freedom, buddy.