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The World

A Chinese army officer and his wife defected to South Korea across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas, the South Korean Defense Ministry said. A ministry spokesman identified the defector as Maj. Zuo Xiukai, 40, the fourth-ranking member of the Chinese delegation to the Korean Military Armistice Commission. The Defense Ministry spokesman said the Chinese couple remain in protective custody of the American-led U.N. Command after walking across the border through Panmunjom truce village. It was the first known Chinese defection through Panmunjom, although North Koreans, Soviets and Czechs have defected there.


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