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Korean soldier defects to South, suffers gunshot wounds from North

15 November 2017

A North Korean soldier was shot and wounded on Monday by the country's army as he was defecting to the South through the demilitarised zone, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. It wasn't immediately known how serious the soldier's injuries were or why he chose to defect.

The official said the South's soldiers heard a gunshot and then retrieved the unarmed and bleeding soldier in the mid-afternoon.

He's in critical condition and it's unclear whether he will stay alive, given the seriousness of the wound, according to Lee Guk-jong, a doctor at the hospital.

Military officials from the two sides have used Panmunjom frequently in the past for talks.

The JSA is a small strip of land on the border between the Koreas where troops from both sides stand face-to-face.

Donald Trump has been "sentenced to death" by the Korean people, North Korea's state media has reportedly said. He was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was taken to a South Korean hospital, the South's Defense Ministry said. But neither the White House or Beijing gave any indication of whether China would go further than the latest round of United Nations Security Council sanctions which are estimated to cut US$1 billion from North Korea's foreign revenue when they come into full effect in January.

The JSA is jointly overseen by the American-led U.N. Command and by North Korea, with South Korean and North Korean border guards facing each other only meters (feet) apart.

Panmunjom, once an obscure farming village inside the 4-kilometer-wide (2 1/2-mile-wide) Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas, is where an armistice was signed to pause the Korean War. But it is very rare for civilians to cross the closely guarded border with the South, which is fortified with minefields and barbed wire.

However, there has been no exchange of gunfire between the two sides. South Korean troops didn't fire at the North, he said.

After hearing several rounds of gunfire, the South Korean military found him fallen and bleeding on the southern side of the JSA, 25 minutes later, according to the military.

The Joint Security Area was the site of some bloodshed during the Cold War but there hasn't been major violence there in recent years.

Korean soldier defects to South, suffers gunshot wounds from North