- John Pavelka
- The US citizen caught trying to defect to North Korea on Tuesday will be deported, and had made the trip to try to help along negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.
- On the same day, a North Korean soldier was shot five times while trying to defect to the South.
The 58 year-old US citizen who attempted to cross the demilitarized border zone between North and South Korea into the communist dictatorship had political motivations and wanted to help Pyongyang and Washington negotiate.
The man, who has not yet been named, has been detained by the South Korean government and now will be deported, according to NK News.
The man crossed “with the judgment that he could contribute to the situation in the North,” Suh Wook, Chief Director of Operations at the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, told NK News.
The man apparently thought he could help along the peace process between the US and North Korea, two nations still technically at war, authorities told NK News.
The man had planned his defection on the internet and intended to simply walk across the ceasefire line, which is illegal under South Korean law. Most who enter or exit North Korea choose to do so through the country’s border with China, rather than crossing one of the most heavily guarded and militarized zones on Earth.
On Tuesday, the same day the US man attempted his crossing, a North Korean soldier defected to the South while fleeing from a hail of gunfire and being shot five times. The North Korean is being treated for his injuries in South Korea.