Many North Koreans have had enough of Kim Jong Un.
South Korean military along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) fired warning shots on Thursday when North Korean guards approached the border to apprehend a defecting soldier.
The defection occurred at a remote section of the DMZ’s mid-western front line, ABC reports. Fog was heavy on the scene when the 19-year-old, carrying an AK-47 rifle, approached the post of South Korean soldiers.
No shots were fired at the time. The defector was secured and taken into custody, where South Korean officials are investigating the cause of his flight.
Later on Thursday, a group of North Korean soldiers were seen coming toward the border, apparently searching for their comrade.
The South broadcast a warning to the soldiers and discharged 20 shots, prompting the North Korean guards to turn back.
About 40 minutes later, soldiers from the South twice heard rounds of gunfire from the North’s side of the DMZ. According to a South Korean defense official, no North Korean bullets were found on South Korean soil.
This latest incident marks the fourth defection of a North Korean soldier this year, and the 15th total defection through the North-South border. Only one North Korean soldier defected last year.
Last month saw a dramatic and highly-publicized defection in which a soldier drove a jeep up to a very public section of the border, where North and South Korean military are only feet away from each other.
The soldier was shot five times before collapsing on South Korean ground. He was rescued and hospitalized, and later released from intensive care.
On Wednesday, two North Korean men found on a wooden boat off the east coast requested entry into the South. Hundreds of North Koreans per year defect through China and then make their way to South Korea.
Tensions remain high between the two Koreas as the North’s Kim regime continues its weapons testing, which has the declared goal of creating a nuclear missile capable of striking anywhere in the US.