Gymnast Who Vaulted Fence to Flee North Korea Has Defected Back, Reports Say
ON SECOND THOUGHT
In 2020, an unidentified North Korean man’s daring escape effort made headlines when he apparently used his experience as a gymnast to scale the 10-foot fortified fence at the border and defect to the South. Now, according to reports from South Korea, the same man has returned to the North. There were reports over the weekend that a man was seen crossing the militarized border from South Korea into North Korea in what, at first, appeared to be a vanishingly rare defection to the North. But Seoul’s defense ministry said Monday that the man was actually North Korean, and the Yonhap news agency reported that it was the same gymnast who made an athletic escape in 2020. “The authorities in charge are examining relevant details,” South Korea’s defense ministry said in a statement.