Hundreds of shots fired at South Korean defector

South Korean troops fired "hundreds" of rounds at a man who was killed while trying to swim across the border to North Korea, a top army officer said yesterday.

In the first official press briefing since the highly unusual incident on Monday, Brigadier-General Cho Jong Sul defended the border guards' actions, saying they had followed protocol.

Mr Nam Yong Ho, a 47- year-old South Korean, was fatally shot while trying to swim across the Imjin river that makes up part of the western border with the North.

Brig-Gen Cho said soldiers manning a nearby guard post had repeatedly shouted warnings at Mr Nam to turn back, but he ignored them.