Ryan Pickrell on February 11, 2018
A North Korean soldier’s desperate dash to freedom appears to have been an impulsive decision to defect made while drunk, South Korean media revealed Sunday.
Oh Chong Song made international headlines in November when he bolted into South Korea under fire, suffering multiple gunshot wounds in a daring defection that nearly cost him his life. South Korea has finally completed its investigation into this unusual defection, and apparently Oh was three sheets to the wind when he made his escape, Yonhap News Agency reported.
This young North Korean soldier was fascinated by South Korean society, however, having watched South Korean movies and television shows on USB drives slipped into the country illegally, it does not appear that his incredible defection was planned, according to the South’s intelligence agency.
Oh has been described as an impulsive person who acts without making plans.
Prior to his defection, Oh was drinking with a friend. The two of them put away ten bottles of soju, with Oh personally drinking seven or eight bottles. It should be noted that North Korean soju is much stronger than the alcohol in the South, as it has a much higher alcohol content.
Oh reportedly told investigators that he was nearly blackout drunk, signaling that the young man was almost certainly not in full control of his mental faculties.
In his drunken state, he decided to give his drinking buddy a tour of the Joint Security Area. The story gets a little unclear at this point, but there is speculation that they were in an accident along the way, one which was potentially fatal. Oh said that he cannot remember what happened to his friend, and there is no way for South Korea to obtain that information.
Oh will reportedly receive state assistance and training at the North Korean Settlement Assistance Office. Once he completes training, he will be permitted to join South Korean society.
As to whether or not Oh had valuable information, a senior intelligence official told Yonhap that he “is not a person with important information.”
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