Recently, a North Korean soldier crossed the military demarcation line to defect to South Korea after shooting dead two of his superiors. Although defection of North Korean soldiers is not uncommon, it was the first time for a soldier posted at the frontline to defect. Defections across the DMZ, a buffer zone dividing the two Koreas, are rare as the 250km long land border is heavily armed and tightly guarded. North Korean soldiers stationed near the border are reportedly selected from families known to be the most loyal to the communist regime, to try to prevent military defections that may embarrass Pyongyang. Despite all these efforts, the fact that a North Korean soldier in the front line hints the nearing collapse of North Korea. The North Korean military appears to have serious lax discipline issues these days. Worsening food shortages at military barracks in the impoverished North has fanned frustration among its soldiers.