Friday, 17 November, 2017

Korean soldier defects to S. Korea via truce line

Korean soldier defects to S. Korea via truce line Korean soldier defects to S. Korea via truce line
Wilma Wheeler | 15 November, 2017, 00:52

Two North Korean soldiers defected to the South in June after crossing the frontier at another location.

It was the first shooting in the Joint Security Area since 1984, but USA and South Korean forces did not return fire.

An elite North Korean soldier stationed at the heavily guarded Demilitarized Zone made a bold bolt for freedom Monday, defecting to South Korea despite getting shot twice, the South's military said.

More than 30,000 North Koreans have defected to the South since the end of the 1950-53 war, but it's very rare for soldiers to flee across the DMZ, much less the Joint Security Area.

"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.

South Korean forces have identified him only as "A" and said the man arrived in the country on Friday.

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.

This makes the area a popular stop for visitors from both sides.

No tourists were present at the time, because tours do not run on Mondays.

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. According to The New York Times, following a blast of gunfire, South Korean troops found a bleeding North Korean soldier on their side of the border on Monday (13 November). After being shot, he took cover near a building on the southern side of the JSA before South Korean and American troops came to his aid. She believes they were ready after Trump's surprise election to discuss a new round of official talks with the U.S.to defuse the standoff over their nuclear weapons - but that Trump's escalating rhetoric and Twitter rants such as his weekend taunting of North Korea's "short and fat" Kim Jong Un may have foreclosed that option.

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.

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