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North Korean gymnast escapes to South Korea by vaulting over fence

A brave North Korean gymnast surpasses 3-metre booby-trapped fence by simply jumping over it.

A North Korean gymnast escaped to South Korea last week by flinging himself over a barbed-wire border fence without setting off any sensors or alarms, according to reports.

The young gymnast – said to be in his 20s – surrendered to South Korean authorities after a wild chase following their discovery of the breach. The armed troops engaged in a frenzied search near the heavily secured border in Goseong, after detecting “unidentified personnel” there.

North Korea
Photo: Business Insider

The unnamed man was captured without incident and subsequently asked for asylum. This prompted an investigation, with officials looking into his claims and the breach.

Authorities were shocked by the feat and asked the man to demonstrate twice how he jumped over the 3-metre fence, according to BBC’s Seoul correspondent. Officials swore to investigate how the hi-tech security system failed.

The impressive act caused high alarm among officials, with questions as to how the high security demilitarised zone between North and South Korea was successfully crossed. The 250 km zone is extremely dangerous, fortified by mines, fences, and armed posts.

Few souls make it across the North/South Korean border, with the majority of the 33,000 defectors who flee North Korea opting for the still precarious, but more feasible route through China.