The military failed to act on a North Korean defector crossing the eastern inter-Korean border to the North over the weekend, despite surveillance cameras catching him five times.
According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) on Wednesday, the North Korean man was caught five times on three surveillance cameras at the South's general outpost(GOP) just outside the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) Saturday night.
After a warning light and an alarm were triggered as the man crossed the barbed-wire fence into the DMZ at 6:36 p.m., six troops dispatched to the location failed to find anything unusual.
Having missed the man in real-time surveillance, the military again failed to detect the breach while checking recorded footage, due partly to discrepancies between the actual time and when the recordings were stored in the server.
The chief of the command control at the battalion in charge also neglected to report the incident to higher-ups, which goes against the manual. It wasn’t until 9:17 p.m. that the military realized there was something unusual after spotting the man in the DMZ through a thermal observation device.
JCS Operations Director Lt. Gen. Jeon Dong-jin issued a public apology, pledging to put forth measures to improve security along the border.