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North Korean soldier shot while defecting to South Korea

North Korean soldier shot while defecting to South Korea

A soldier from the Korean People's Army (KPA) has defected to the South at Panmunjom, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Monday.

A North Korean soldier was shot and injured by his own side Monday (Nov 13) while defecting to South Korea at the truce village of Panmunjom, the South's military said.

"Our military has taken in a North Korean soldier after he crossed from a North Korea post towards our Freedom House", the statement said, referring to a building on the South side of the village which is bisected by the border.

South Korea's military has strengthened vigilance in the wake of the incident and remains prepared for any situation, the JCS said.

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.

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He was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was taken to a South Korean hospital, the Defence Ministry said.

The fact that the defector drove to the frontier suggests he may not have been a member of the elite corps of North Korean troops posted to Panmunjom, who are carefully vetted and selected for their loyalty. In addition, North Korean soldiers could have fired rifles and pistols when he was trying to cross the MDL. They stand only several yards away from tall South Korean soldiers wearing aviator sunglasses and standing motionless like statues.

North Korea has not commented on the shooting, but it usually responds angrily to defections and often accuses South Korea of kidnapping its citizens.

"He believes that after years of investigations, of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, there is zero evidence of any ballot being impacted by Russian interference", Short said in an interview on NBC. That prompted Washington to send nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to intimidate the North before the adversaries pulled back from the brink of conflict.

"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. In 1998, a North Korean solider fled to South Korea via Panmunjom.


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