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(LEAD) S. Korean man shot dead in failed attempt to cross river to North

2013/09/16 17:34

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; UPDATES details from para 2)

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean man was shot dead on Monday while attempting to cross over a river along the border with the North, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

As the unidentified man tried to cross the Imjin River near the western border in Paju, north of Seoul, at around 2:23 p.m., soldiers fired off warning shots and told him to return to the South. When he disobeyed the order and jumped into the river, an Army corporal shot him dead, military officials said.

"He jumped into the river and was holding onto the buoy at the time of shooting," a senior official of the Joint Chiefs said. "A special team was formed to investigate the incident."

An investigation was under way to determine the man's identity and his motive for the border crossing, officials said.

The Imjin River, which flows from North Korea into the Yellow Sea off the west coast, joins the downstream of the Han River that runs through Seoul.