[UPDATE: Reports indicate that Mr Kang was fleeing an assault charge (against his former boss) in his hometown.]Sphere: Related Content
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According to the Korean Central News Agency (the DPRK mouthpiece), Mr Kang was doing so to fulfill his "longing" for the worker's paradise. The KCNA says Kang "is now under the warm care of a relevant organ" (which, coincidentally, is American prison lingo for being sodomized and made someone's bitch).
While thousands of people have worked their way south, not too many make their way north. It's entirely possible foul play was involved, though the most logical explanation is that Mr Kang is simply one of those outliers who doesn't believe the writing on the wall about the DPRK and assumes it would be a better place for him. In fact, the KCNA says, Mr Kang had tried several times to defect during his time in the ROK military but failed.
One always wonders if these things are legitimate. According to AFP, Mr Kang is from Pŏlgyo (Beolgyo), on the south coast, so this is not some case of a Kangwon-do area farmer chasing down his pet pig and accidentally getting too close to a North Korean unit on patrol and being taken in.
But I do believe such things can happen, and South Korean maps should do a better job of showing motorists where the hell the DMZ is on their map. There are parts of Kyŏnggi-do Province on the way to Torasan Station that are just across a river from North Korean territory (you can see the buildings) and Kanghwa-do Island has some parts that are almost as close. My then-fiancée and I drove close to one such point, a village on the northern side of the island, having no idea that the island just across the way was North Korean territory, until a South Korean patrol popped out of nowhere, demanded my ID, and then told us to turn the fu¢k around. I think she broke up with me because I kept endangering her life.
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