Korea soldier shot six times as he defected to South

Pablo Tucker
November 14, 2017

The military armistice commission of the United Nations said it had informed the North Korean military that the soldier, who was found on the south side of the border village of Panmunjom about 50 metres (150 feet) south of the Military Demarcation Line, had been undergoing surgeries for his gunshot wounds.

Suh Wook, chief director of operations for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers that North Korea fired a total of 40 rounds in a shooting that his office said was believed to have started while the soldier was in the jeep. Lee Guk-jong, a doctor who leads Ajou's medical team for the soldier, described his patient's condition as "very dangerous" and said the next 10 days might determine whether he recovers.

From 2012 to 2016, only four North Korean troops are known to have defected to South Korea.

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun (R) answers questions from reporters following meeting with Japan and South Korea chief nuclear negotiators to talk about North Korean issues at the Iikura guest house in Tokyo, Japan April 25, 2017.


The soldier had defected from a North Korean guard post nearby. The last time a soldier crossed was in 2007, and before that in 1998.

He apparently underscored the importance of their ties, saying his country had as much at stake as South Korea in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean officials have yet to identify where the soldier came from or what his intentions were.

North Korea has in the past complained that North Korean defectors had been abducted by South Korea, and it has demanded their release.


The defection came at a time of heightened tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, and as President Trump wraps up a 12-day visit to Asia.

Suh said the South had also informed the North on Monday of the soldier and his treatment, via loudspeakers on the border. The attack prompted Washington to fly nuclear-capable B-52 bombers toward the DMZ in an attempt to intimidate North Korea.

He added that Russian Federation, like South Korea, has deep interest in the peace of the Korean Peninsula, emphasizing it is his country's persistent stance.

The Associated Press contribute to this report.


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