A NORTH Korea defector used his training as a gymnast to leap over a 12ft fence into the South, it was reported.
His audacious escape involved making it across the world’s most heavily guarded order which is strewn with two million mines and bristling with barbed wire.
Officials were so taken aback they made the man, who is in his 20s, recreate his jump in order to verify his claim.
According to the Korea Herald the man is reportedly of small stature the authorities believe his light body weight and gymnastics training aided the escape.
Very few North Korean defectors choose to flee Kim Jong-un’s brutal regime via the perilous border crossing, with most escaping through China.
South Korean media report that the man brushed up against its fence sensors that but didn’t trigger them.
He was captured on thermal cameras twice on November 2 – at 10:14 am and 10:22 am – “loitering” around a mile south of the Demilitarized Zone.
The man – who was wearing blue civilian clothes – was then taken into custody and has now asked for political asylum.
Military authorities now suspect he may have scaled an iron pole and jumped from the barbed wire on top, Chosun Ilbo reports.
An investigation has begun into why South Korea’s high-tech security systems along the 160-mile border did not work.
“We will look into why the sensors did not ring and make sure they operate properly,” an official told Yonhap news agency.
Around 32,000 people have made the journey from the North, from an annual peak of 2,900 in 2009 to 1,400 in 2016.
In 2017, the dramatic escape of a North Korean soldier Oh Chong-song across the border as he dodged a hail of bullets grabbed the world’s attention.
Incredible footage showed him drive up in a jeep before being chased and shot five times by his former comrades as he crossed into South Korea.
A US-led United Nations command video captured him crawling desperately after being wounded before he was pulled to safety hours later by South Korean soldiers.
He was rushed to hospital where he had surgery on his wounds and he was also discovered to have ten inch long parasitic worms in his stomach.
Lead surgeon Lee Cook-jong told CNN the soldier was left like a as “like a broken jar”.
He also displayed photos showing dozens of flesh-coloured parasites removed from the wounded soldier’s digestive tract, the result of the poor diet of North Korean soldiers.