A drunk North Korean man floated all the way to an island near Seoul, South Korea on a piece of driftwood, according to the Global Post. By the time authorities discovered the refugee, the guy was deeply intoxicated and wearing nothing but a pair of soggy underwear. The young man, it would seem, was extremely happy about his daring escape and decided to mark the occasion the only way he knew how.
Gawker reports that the 20-year-old was found hanging out inside a house at around 11:48 am on Sunday morning. After authorities arrived to take care of the inebriated gentleman, he was turned over to the South Korean military. Should the drunk North Korean escapee decide to stay, he will be offered asylum in the country.
“The man said he crossed to the South, holding on to a floating object to waters off the coast of Gyodong Island,” Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Lee Bung-woo explained to the Yonhap News Agency. “The floating object is seen as a wooden board that drifted due to the flood in the North.”
Although South Korean officials generally let North Korean defectors return to the country, it’s quite clear that this guy isn’t going back to his homeland anytime soon. Unless sobriety brings him an entirely different perspective on his escape, I’d say he’s there to stay.
North Korean officials are surely none too pleased with the attention this story is likely to bring. Then again, nothing really seems to make them happy. Just recently, South Korea offered to provide aid to flood victims in the land of Kim Jong-un only to have their efforts openly criticized by the North Korean government. ABC 5 News reports that officials believe the South Korean aid to be less than adequate, dubbing the care packages “an insult.” The offer of 10,000 tons of flour, 3 million packages of ramen noodles, and various medical supplies was ultimately rejected.
The drunk North Korean man, meanwhile, is probably still recovering from his daring escape. I’m sure he’ll consider the ensuing hangover to be a badge of honor.