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South Korea Man Shot Trying To Head North
Soldiers from South Korea have shot dead a man they believed was trying to cross into North Korea at the heavily guarded border.
Details of the shooting on Monday were unclear, but officials at the defence ministry said a man dressed in civilian clothes had ignored warnings from guards to return to the South.
The man, whose South Korean passport identified him as Nam Young-ho, was shot after he jumped into the Imjin River, which runs through the border.
Lieutenant General Cho Jong-sul, of the South Korean Army, said: "We found a man trying to defect to North Korea through the Imjin river, and local forces blocked him by shooting him down."
It happened near the western portion of the border in Paju, north of Seoul.
According to officials, border guards told Mr Nam to turn back, but he ignored them and went into a part of the river where there was no wire fence.
Lt Gen Cho said: "The company commander quickly approached the scene and warned him three times to come back.
"When the man disobeyed the warning and continued to try to cross the river, soldiers took out personal arms from the guard posts on the river and shot him."
The man was later found to have tied buoys around himself and was carrying biscuits, according to officials.
North Korea's state media made no immediate comment about the shooting.
South Koreans have previously tried to defect to their impoverished, authoritarian northern neighbour, but cases are rare.
The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war as the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
More than 25,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea, according to officials in Seoul.
Many travelled south after a famine in the 1990s that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.