North Korean defectors will face further obstacles to escape Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship as South Korea moves to stop infiltrators, it has been reported.
The Yohap News Agency, a South Korean media-network, claims the country has announced plans to install vibration sensors on its border with the DPRK.
A new system will reportedly be designed to detect and stop potential defectors using ground vibration sensors that will ring alarm bells and alert the military.
Infrared and image sensors will also be used, South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has said.
The project is already in motion and plans to wrap up tests by 2022, with equipment expected to be delivered to the demilitarised zone in 2023.
The announcement of the project comes after the military failed to detect a North Korean man jumping over barbed wire fences last month.
It is understood the man, who is yet to be named, was a former North Korean gymnast and managed to clear a 10-ft border fence to escape.
The man was first picked up on thermal cameras on the North Korean side on the morning of November 2.
He was later caught by South Korean authorities, with interrogators said to have made him perform acrobatic jumps to verify his claims until they were satisfied that he had gymnastic skills.
South Korea's joint chiefs of staffs are examining the route he took across the DMZ, which is 2.5 miles wide and mined along its 160-mile length.
Authorities are investigating why sensors on the fence did not sound and how troops lost track of him.
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Since 1948 about 32,000 people have made the dangerous journey from the North to the South.
Most travel by land through China and southeast Asia, often assisted by smugglers, few take the risky path across the DMZ.
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