The Southern Korean military shot and killed a man who was attempting to sneak into North Korea in broad daylight by floating across the Imjin River on Monday, according to an official in Seoul.
The unidentified man was killed by soldiers on the river, a heavily militarized border between North and South, Reuters reported. It is unclear whether he is in fact South Korean. It is possible he was a North Korean soldier, an unidentified source told Yonhap.
The guards called out to the man, but he ignored their order to return. According to the South’s Yonhap news agency, the man was clinging to a buoy in an attempt to float across.
It is illegal to cross the border without permission. The official said the shooting was justified.
South Koreans who want to travel into the North usually make their way through China. South Korea reports about 25,000 North Korean have made their way South via China.
The official said the military is still attempting to recover the body.
A South Korean fisherman who was kidnapped 41 years ago by North Korean forces escaped and returned to his home in Seoul last week.