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article imageSouth Korean troops kill man trying to swim to North Korea

By Mike White     Sep 16, 2013 in World
The South Korean military shot and killed a man who was trying to swim across a river to North Korea Monday. The man had reportedly ignored multiple warnings to turn around.
According to news.yahoo.com, the man's passport identified him as Nam Yong-Ho, 47.
According to the article, the number of those defecting from South Korea to North Korea is tiny. On the other hand, more than 23,500 North Koreans have escaped the other way since the Korean War ended in the 1950's. While the number of defections from South to North is tiny, according to the article, there is no record of any recent incidents where troops shot at someone attempting to do so.
North and South Korea are still technically at war, even though the fighting in the conflict ended in the 1950's, according to bbc.co. An armistice, not a peace treaty, ended the 1950-1953 conflict. According to dictionary.reference.com, an armistice is technically a temporary suspension of hostilities by warring parties to discuss peace terms.
There are thousands of North Korean defectors living in South Korea today.
The shooting comes just as relations between the two countries had thawed. That is demonstrated by the more than 800 South Koreans in the Kaesong Industrial Park, which is run by both countries.
There are 50,000 North Koreans employed in the zone inside North Korea, which has 123 South Korean factories. The area is a key source of revenue for the communist government in Pyongyang. Nevertheless, the North had withdrawn all of its workers in April, when relations between the two countries deteriorated, after the North performed a nuclear test.
While defections from South Korea to North Korea are rare, the North, through its state-operated Korean Central News Agency publicized the "defection" of South Korean Kang Tom-rim, from the eastern part of the border in 2009, according to cnn.com. South Korean police, however, said the man was fleeing police, who wanted him for an assault, not defecting.
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