Escaped North Korean soldier fights for life after being shot crossing DMZ

Violet Powell
November 15, 2017

A North Korean soldier defected to the South by driving a vehicle to the line that divides the peninsula, then sprinting across it as his former comrades opened fire, the United Nations Command said Tuesday.

The soldier bolted from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village in the Joint Security Area to the southern side of the village, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

He suffered a gunshot wound and is now recovering in a South Korean hospital, the military said. She believes they were ready after Trump's surprise election to discuss a new round of official talks with the U.S.to defuse the standoff over their nuclear weapons - but that Trump's escalating rhetoric and Twitter rants such as his weekend taunting of North Korea's "short and fat" Kim Jong Un may have foreclosed that option.

About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, but most travel through China.

But there was no direct exchange of gunfire between South and North Korean guards in the process. The JSA is a tense area where South and North Korean soldiers confront each other face-to-face, day after day.

Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sealed the accord with the ASEAN leaders in Manila , according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency. In 2013, the Philippines filed an worldwide arbitration case against China, and scored victory three years later.

Areas around Panmunjom were the site of bloodshed and defection attempts by North Koreans in the past, but there have been no such incidents in recent years. The next 10 days will be crucial for his recovery, Lee was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency.

"The military has raised its alertness against the North Korean military's possible provocations and is maintaining its full readiness posture", the official said.

Panmunjomis where an armistice was signed to pause the Korean War.

The Unification Ministry said North Korean soldiers also defected across the JSA in 2007 and 1998, but military officials said no shooting occurred during those incidents.

Trump tried to make a surprise visit to the DMZ last week, but his helicopter was forced to turn back to Seoul after heavy fog prevented it from landing at the frontier. In addition, North Korean soldiers could have fired rifles and pistols when he was trying to cross the MDL. In September the North carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, of what it described as a hydrogen bomb.

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