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North Korean soldier defects to South Korea at truce village

15 November 2017, 12:51 | Marta Robbins

North Korean soldier defects to South Korea at truce village

North Korean soldier defects to South Korea at truce village

The man who is reportedly a low ranking soldier, was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was picked up bleeding on the south side of the border known as the Joint Security Area (JSA).

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) has assessed that North Korean troops fired some 40 rounds at a North Korean soldier as he sprinted across the heavily-fortified border to defect to the South on Monday.

A North Korean soldier was shot by his fellow troops as he was defecting to the south across the demilitarised zone but still managed to successfully cross the border.

There has been speculation in both North Korea and the United States that Trump may be feigning unpredictability, emulating former USA president Richard Nixon's "Madman Theory" -whereby enemy countries were tricked into avoiding conflict with the U.S., believing Nixon would be irrational and unpredictable in his response.

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.

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

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A JCS official quoted by Yonhap news agency said the South's soldiers heard a gunshot and then retrieved the unarmed soldier in the mid-afternoon.

"His organs are extremely damaged. we do not know how long he can hold up", Lee said, describing the soldier's condition as "very serious".

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

US President Donald Trump believes North Korea's nuclear weapons are a greater threat than Russia's alleged interference in his election and wants to work with Moscow to counter that threat, an aide said Sunday. They stand only several yards away from tall South Korean soldiers wearing aviator sunglasses and standing motionless like statues.

Although there have been a handful of defections across the DMZ in recent years, escapes through the tense Joint Security Area are rare. In September the North carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, of what it described as a hydrogen bomb.



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