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

US Navy aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz along with their strike groups transit the Western Pacific with ships from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force over the weekend. Two US Air

The soldier was injured by gunfire from the North Korean side and has been hospitalized, according to South Korea's military.

The defector was taken to hospital after being shot by another North Korean soldier, the South's military said. The US has around 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea.

It is the second major incident to rock the heavily fortified DMZ after a North Korean guard was shot trying to flee the communist nation.

The soldier's successful escape makes only the fourth defection by a North Korean soldier through the DMZ in the last three years, the BBC reported.

According to the South Korean military there was no exchange of fire across the border, and the UNC statement stressed that no South Korean or United States forces were harmed.


The defection came during escalated tensions between the North and the South and almost a week after President Trump visited Seoul for his five-country Asia tour.

"He has at least six gunshot wounds on his body and the penetrating wound in the abdomen is the most serious", the doctor, Lee Cook-Jong, told reporters, AFP said. The next 10 days will be crucial for his recovery, Lee was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency.

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

"Our military maintains full readiness while strengthening the alert in preparation for the possibility of provocations by the North Korean army", the JCS said.

Among issues the North Koreans have raised with her in recent months, DiMaggio said, were everything from Trump's tweet urging Tillerson to give up on diplomacy with North Korea ("Is this a good cop/bad cop that he's doing with Tillerson?") to Trump's decision this fall to decertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal forged by his predecessor, Barack Obama. His helicopter had to turn back because of bad weather. In 1984, a Soviet tourist sprinted across the demarcation line from North Korea in a bid to defect, prompting a gun battle that killed and wounded several soldiers from both sides. In September the North carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, of what it described as a hydrogen bomb.

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