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North Korean Soldier Is Shot While Defecting Across DMZ, South Says

15 November 2017

An elite North Korean soldier stationed at the heavily guarded Demilitarized Zone made a bold bolt for freedom Monday, defecting to South Korea despite getting shot twice, the South's military said.

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

It was the first shooting in the Joint Security Area since 1984, but USA and South Korean forces did not return fire.

"He then exited the vehicle and continued fleeing south across the line as he was sacked upon by other soldiers from North Korea", UNC said in a statement. He was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was taken to a South Korean hospital, the South's Defense Ministry said.

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"Currently, there are no unusual signs in the North Korean military, but we are increasing alertness against the possibility of North Korean provocations", officials told Yonhap News Agency.

But there was no direct exchange of gunfire between South and North Korean guards in the process.

About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the Korean War, but most travel through China. We urge the top brass to get to the bottom of the case involving North Korean soldiers shooting at a fleeing defector and come up with measures to prevent such a mishap in the future.

The CCL is drawn just below the heavily fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) which divides South Korea from its rogue northern neighbour.

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North Korean soldiers have occasionally defected to South Korea across the border.

All channels for dialogue are now cut off between Seoul and Pyongyang after North Korea's relentless development of nuclear weapons and missiles. 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.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff official said he was found collapsed in a pile of fallen leaves and recovered by three South Korean soldiers crawling on their stomachs to his position.

North Korea has typically accused South Korea of enticing its citizens to defect, something the South denies.

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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.

North Korean Soldier Is Shot While Defecting Across DMZ, South Says