SKorean leader: military failed to spot defector

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Associated Press

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 4:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 11 at 4:04 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's president has rebuked the military for its failure to spot a North Korean soldier before he crossed the two countries' heavily armed border last week.

Officials say the soldier knocked on the door of a South Korean barracks near the border last Tuesday and told troops there he was defecting.

The incident has prompted criticism of the military's surveillance capabilities.

President Lee Myung-bak summoned the defense minister Thursday and said those responsible for the failure should be punished.

Officials say the front-line unit also falsely claimed that it had spotted the North Korean on a surveillance camera.

On Saturday, another North Korean soldier defected across the border after killing two superiors. Such crossings are unusual.

The Koreas remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce.

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