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N. Korean soldier who defected used a vehicle to escape

15 November, 2017, 01:56 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • North Korean soldier defects to South Korea at truce village

A United Nations agency said today the North Korean soldier who crossed over to South Korea on Monday was "shot six times by North Korean border troops" as he made his way across the heavily guarded border separating the two countries.

We are disappointed at the way our military reacted to the shootings on Monday by North Korean guards at a fellow soldier who defected to South Korea through the Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom.

Seo went on to say that at 3:31 p.m., the JCS spotted the North Korean soldier lying in a pile of leaves some 50 meters south of the Military Demarcation Line and at around 3:56 p.m. three South Korean troops approached the North Korean soldier.

"In the afternoon today, a North Korean soldier defected from a guard post on the North Korean side of the JSA toward our side and our military took him", the Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified military official as saying.

Lee Guk-jong, a doctor at the hospital, said the soldier suffered serious injuries and was in critical condition.

No tourists were in the Joint Security Area at the time and there was no exchange of gunfire between the two sides.

The blitz across one of the world's most closely patrolled borders - the first such military defection in a decade - has riveted the region with elements that read like a scene from a movie, including the soldier being shot five times by his countrymen as he ran south on Monday. What were they really doing when the defector received multiple gunshots from North Korean guards?

"We will have to ride out some crucial moments over the next 10 days", Lee said.

The defection came less than a week after President Donald Trump made his first official visit to South Korea amid soaring tensions over the growing nuclear and missile threat from the North.

It was not immediately known how serious the soldier's injuries were or why he chose to defect.

After racing across the frontier, the soldier took cover near a building on the South side.

It was the greatest loss of life to occur in what is technically called the Joint Security Area.

He was shot by a North Korean soldier but succeeded in crossing, the JCS added, and has been evacuated for medical treatment.

This makes the area a popular stop for visitors from both sides. South Korean troops didn't fire at the North, he said.

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