A former North Korean gymnast claims he jumped over a nearly 10-foot-high barbed wire fence to deviate from security in the South, according to reports.
Seoul defense officials have launched an investigation into the unidentified defector after his escape over the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) could not trigger alarms, the Korea Herald said.
The man, described as in his 20s, told them he used his gymnastics training to jump over the fence undetected – even jumping twice for officials to prove his athletic prowess, according to the report.
To get over the DMZ, he had to get over a nearly 10-foot-high fence with landmines on both sides, according to United Press International, citing local reports.
It does not appear that the fence has been cut or altered, and investigators believe his story that he used his gymnastic skill to get over, the reports said.
He had been spotted at least twice by South Korea̵
He was picked up on November 3 approx. 10 miles from the fence and about 14 hours after he came over, the agency said.
He was unarmed and told South Korean officials he wanted to surrender from the brutal regime in the Hermit Kingdom, the report said.