From Paula Hancocks
SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- The South Korean military on Monday shot and killed a man who was trying to swim across a river to North Korea, a military spokesman said.
The man jumped into the Imjin River at the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas and refused to stop when South Korean military service members shouted at him to come back, said Kwon Ki-hyun, a South Korean military spokesman.
Following the rules at the border zone, the military then shot him and he died, Kwon said.
The two Koreas are technically still at war after the all-out conflict they fought between 1950 and 1953 ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
Military officials are trying to identifying the man, Kwon said.
While tens of thousands of people have managed to flee to South Korea from the authoritarian regime in the North, defections in the other direction are very rare.
In 2009, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency trumpeted the defection of a South Korean, Kang Tong-rim, who it said crossed the eastern part of the border. But South Korean authorities said he was fleeing police who wanted him for an assault incident.
Journalist Jung-Eun Kim contributed to this report.
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