By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- The military and police were questioning a man who claims to have drifted from North Korea and was discovered hiding in a town near the western border with the North, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.
The man, believed to be in his 20s, was discovered hiding in a civilian's house by a resident in Ganghwa, west of Seoul, at around 11:48 a.m. Sunday and police were called to take him into custody, the JCS spokesman Lee Bung-woo said. He was then handed over to the South Korean military.
The man, who was wearing only underwear and appeared drunk at the time, said he floated south from North Korea, Lee said.
"The man said he crossed to the South, holding on to a floating object to waters off the coast of Gyodong Island," Lee said. "The floating object is seen as a wooden board that drifted due to the flood in the North."
The Marine Corps now has custody of the man and is questioning him together with other agencies to ascertain his identity and his purpose for crossing the border, the JCS said, noting it will announce the results after the investigation is completed.
South Korea returns North Koreans who accidentally drift to the South if they want to return, but accepts any North Korean defectors who want to live in the South.
- N. Korean leader's uncle seen to have clinched stronger economic support from China
- S. Korea, U.S. stuck in nonproliferation dilemma
- Questions linger on N. Korean leader Kim Jong-un's power
- N. Korea's contradictory foreign policy hints at power game
- Botched rocket launch deals embarrassing blow to Kim Jong-un
- N. Korea blows away dialogue mood with rocket launch
- No hype over nuke deal with N. Korea, cautiousness prevails
- N. Korea a 'tinderbox' after leader's death: experts
- Death of N. Korean leader raises question on power succession
- Nuclear diplomacy on N. Korea put on hold after Kim's death: analysts