American man speaks incoherently after being captured in border area

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 14, 2017, 17:33 Updated : November 14, 2017, 17:33

[Yonhap Photo]

A U.S. citizen captured this week for breaking into a civilian control zone near the heavily armed inter-Korean border showed a gibbering wreck at an initial interrogation by military investigators, according to the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The man in his 50s was seized by South Korean soldiers on Monday after he walked into a civilian control zone in the border county of Yeoncheon north of Seoul. He was transferred to police for questioning.

The man told investigators that he arrived in South Korea on November 3 and tried to walk across the border into North Korea to help solve a current political situation on the Korean peninsula, Suh Wook, the JCS chief director of operations, told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

During a joint investigation by security authorities, the man made a roaming reply, Suh said, adding he had kept his underway when he was captured.

Entry into the zone south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), which splits the Korean peninsula, has been restricted since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in a fragile armistice, and violators could be jailed. The zone, controlled by South Korean front-line troops, stretches up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of the heavily armed inter-Korean border.

A local villager found and reported the American citizen from Louisiana to a regional military base, Yonhap News Agency said earlier.

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