American detained trying to enter North Korea; North Korean soldier escapes to the South

The demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas was the scene of an unusual amount of action Monday as an American man unsuccessfully attempted to cross into the North and a North Korean soldier succeeded in defecting to the South.

The 2.5-mile-wide strip between North and South Korea, which President Bill Clinton once called “the scariest place on Earth,” has kept the two states separate since the Korean War ended in 1953 in an armistice and without a peace treaty.

But a handful of North Koreans have made it across in recent years, and several Americans have been thwarted trying to make the opposite journey.

A 58-year-old man from Louisiana was arrested by South Korean forces Monday morning for crossing the civilian control line just outside the DMZ as part of an attempt to get into North Korea “for political purposes,” authorities said. 

The Korean demilitarized zone explained View Graphic The Korean demilitarized zone explained

 A resident of the border county of Yeoncheon, 40 miles north of Seoul, saw the man and alerted police, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

The man, identified only as “A,” arrived

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