North Korean soldier defects to South Korea at truce village
Nov 15 2017 by Desiree Burns
"He then exited the vehicle and continued fleeing south across the line as he was sacked upon by other soldiers from North Korea", the UNC said in a statement. The North has expressed intense anger over past high-profile defections.
It was the first shooting in the Joint Security Area since 1984, but USA and South Korean forces did not return fire. His personal details and motive for defection are unknown and his exact medical condition is unclear.
There was no armed conflict between the two sides, the military said. But the Ajou University Medical Center near Seoul said the soldier was relying on a breathing machine after the surgery removed the bullets.
North Korea's military is preparing for winter drills, prompting South Korea to ensure its forces are combat-ready in case of any hostilities.
The solider was found beneath a pile of leaves on the southern side of the JSA and South Korean troops crawled there to recover him.
North Korean government officials told CNN's Will Ripley in Pyongyang last week that the USA was increasingly taking action that could "ignite another Korean War".
American presidents often visit Panmunjom and other DMZ areas during their trips to South Korea to reaffirm their security commitment to the South. President Donald Trump planned to visit the DMZ to underscore his stance against North Korea's nuclear program when he came to South Korea last week as part of an Asian tour, but his plans were thwarted by heavy fog that prevented his helicopter from landing at the border area.
North Korea has remained silent on the issue, while no unusual activity has been detected at its border with the South where the soldier defected, the South's Unification Ministry said.
Seo said that at around 3:14 p.m. on Monday, the JCS spotted three North Korean soldiers moving south of the Panmungak, or the North's main building in the Joint Security Area.
The soldier is reported to have left his North Korean guard post in front of Panmungak, on the border inside the demilitarized zone, and proceeded to move towards Freedom House on the South Korean side.
Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, was photographed by North Korean soldiers while he stood inside one of the huts during a visit to the DMZ in March.
It wasn't immediately known how serious the soldier's injuries were or why he chose to defect.
Ja accused the U.N. Security Council in Monday's letter of repeatedly "turning a blind eye to the nuclear war exercises of the United States, who is hell bent on bringing a catastrophic disaster to humanity".