Posted November. 23, 2017 07:29,
Updated November. 23, 2017 08:02
During a briefing on Wednesday by Col. Chad G. Carroll, a spokesman for the U.N. command, on the results of the investigation about a North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea’s side of the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom on November 13, the U.N. Command released video footages of the scene from four surveillance cameras and a TOD thermal camera. The U.N. Command has confirmed that the North violated the ceasefire armistice as the North’s security guards opened fire to the escaping soldier after he crossed the Military Demarcation Line and one of the guards crossed the demarcation line to run after him. The U.N. Command notified the North of its investigation results and requested for a meeting to discuss this matter in order to prevent any similar violation.
The ceasefire armistice between two Koreas prohibits a crossing over the demarcation line or gunfire by the security guard in the Joint Military Area, making the current incident an undoubtedly serious violation by the North. Moreover, according to the ceasefire armistice created in July 1953, only a rifle or a pistol is allowed in the Demilitarized Zone, but the North’s soldiers were found to be armed with an automatic rifle. The U.N. Command must make the North be accountable for its violation. In addition, the U.N. Command must request the North to come up with a measure to prevent such violation in the future.
The video shows South Korean and U.S. deputy commanders of the UNC Security Battalion-JSA moving with urgency after the gunfire. Under cover by the South’s deputy commander of the UNC Security Battalion-JSA Kwon Young-hwan, two noncommissioned officers of the South crawled to the defector collapsed on the ground 100-meter away from the North’s post and dragged him to safety. South Korean soldiers’ calm and cautious action was impressive in a potentially explosive situation with the North’s provocative action was seemingly unfolding. The U.N. Command has highly evaluated Kwon’s courage in an uncertain situation, by saying, “The UNC supports the decision made by South Korean deputy commander of the UNC Security Battalion-JSA without heightening the tension when the situation was unclear.”
Some are blaming why the South did not open fire back to the North’s soldiers immediately. However, according to the U.N. Command’s combat rules, the decision is made by U.S. deputy commanders of the UNC Security Battalion-JSA through a comprehensive review of the level of the risk when South Korean and U.S. guard soldiers can be exposed to any harm or injury.
The North’s solders ran after the defector, who crossed the demarcation line, and fired guns at him. The North’s soldiers did not stop firing guns even after the defector collapsed. Whether or not the North violated the ceasefire armistice, the North will be blamed for its harsh treatment against humanity. It was the moment for the international community to witness why the North is returned to the list of state sponsors of terrorism and blamed as one of the worst nations for abusing human rights.