N. Korean soldier who defected used a vehicle to escape

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2017

About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, but most travel through China.

It is very rare for the North's troops to defect at the truce village, a major tourist attraction bisected by the demarcation line and the only part of the frontier where forces from the two sides come face-to-face.

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. 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 soldier shot and injured by the North Korean side while defecting from a military post in front of Panmungak, the main building managed by North Korea in the Joint Security Area, the JCS said in a statement.

Four North Korean soldiers chased after him, firing at least 40 rounds, including some with an AK-47 assault rifle, officials said Tuesday after reviewing security camera footage from the border.

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Two American soldiers also were killed in the DMZ by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers in a 1976 brawl over an attempt to trim a poplar tree. However, by good fortune, the incident happened on a Monday, when tours do not run.

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.

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. We wonder what our military did even when North Korea made a serious provocation again by violating the decades-old cease-fire agreement in the tense border.

President Donald Trump attempted to visit the DMZ during his visit to South Korea last week, although it was not clear if he was heading to the Joint Security Area.

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.

Other reports by GizPress

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