A North Korean former gymnast cleared a 10-ft border fence to escape into South Korea.
An investigation is underway after he reportedly used his acrobatic skills to flee the authoritarian state run by tubby tyrant Kim Jong-un.
The defector, who is yet to be named but is said to be short and in his late twenties, evaded military patrols and sensors around the fence, the Times reports.
He was reportedly able to climb to freedom after being detected by surveillance equipment at the demilitarised zone (DMZ).
But was later caught by South Korean authorities, with interrogators said to have made him perform acrobatic jumps to verify his claims until they were satisfied that he had gymnastic skills.
The man was first picked up on thermal cameras on the North Korean side on the morning of November 2.
Surveillance cameras then spotted him the following evening as he climbed a barbed-wire fence.
The South Korean military deployed additional troops to search for the man but were unable to find him.
He was eventually caught by an army patrol the next morning more than a mile inside the border.
South Korea's joint chiefs of staffs are examining the route he took across the DMZ, which is 2.5 miles wide and mined along its 160-mile length.
They are investigating why sensors on the fence did not sound and how troops lost track of him.
Since 1948 about 32,000 people have made the journey from the North.
Most travel by land through China and southeast Asia, often assisted by smugglers. Few take the risky path across the DMZ.