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JCS blasted for lax border watch

The Joint Chiefs of Staff has been criticized for loosely guarding the military demarcation line and allowing a North Korean soldier to freely cross over to the South.

At a parliamentary inspection on the incumbent administration, lawmakers of the National Assembly’s national defense committee lashed out at JCS Chairman Jung Seung-jo for lax security at the border.

The Ministry of National Defense said last Saturday that a North Korean solider defected to the South by crossing the MDL after killing two of his superiors.

The soldier approached a South Korean outpost expressing his wish to defect.

A committee lawmaker of the Democratic United Party said he confirmed with JCS officials that the soldier traveled over to the South’s military quarters, bringing with him weapons such as a gun and grenade.

The Defense Ministry officially announced the soldier’s defection four days later.

JSC Chairman Jung said that the military has boosted its vigilance following the event, and is considering reprimanding those responsible for the negligence in guarding the border.

Observers expect the JSC will dismiss high-ranking soldiers over the matter.

The lawmaker also pointed out that a North Korean civilian crossed over the border last month and was discovered after living in seclusion for six days in the South.

Three North Korean soldiers have so far defected by crossing the DMZ to the South.

By Park Hyong-ki (