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North Korean soldier shot while defecting to South Korea

North Korean soldier shot while defecting to South Korea

"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.

The soldier crossed to the south side of the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom, the only portion of the border Demilitarised Zone where forces from the two sides come face-to-face, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The soldier bolted from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village in the Joint Security Area to the southern side of the village, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A North Korean soldier involved in an extremely rare and dramatic defection to the South was shot six times by his own side as he drove to the heavily guarded border and ran across under a hail of bullets. 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.

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

Areas around Panmunjom were the site of bloodshed and defection attempts by North Koreans in the past, but there have been no such incidents in recent years.

"He crossed from a North Korea post towards our [South Korean] Freedom House", the South said in a statement.

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

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

He was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds to his elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.

South Korea's military has strengthened vigilance in the wake of the incident and remains prepared for any situation, the JCS said. 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. That prompted Washington to send nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to intimidate the North before the adversaries pulled back from the brink of conflict.

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