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15 November 2017, 12:53 | Rufus Hill
THREAT A soldier fled North Korea today – getting shot in the process
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 defected through Panmunjom village, along the Joint Security Area (JSA), which is policed by soldiers from both North Korea and South Korea.
It occurred in one of the few spots that such an attempt is possible: the Joint Security Area in the truce village of Panmunjom, the only part of the heavily fortified DMZ where North Koreans and South Koreans face each other.
DiMaggio has held secret backchannel talks with North Korean officials four times over the past year, The Daily Telegraph reports, and has been a negotiator between the U.S. and North Korea for more than 20 years.
Two North Korean soldiers defected to the South in June after crossing the frontier at another location.
Seo said the North Korean soldier appears to have been shot in five places, adding that he had his first operation on Monday.
"He then exited the vehicle and continued fleeing south across the line as he was sacked upon by other soldiers from North Korea", it said in a statement.
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. He was unconscious and in critical condition on Tuesday, the surgeon in charge of the soldier's treatment, Lee Cook-jong, told reporters.
Seo went on to say that at 3:31 p.m., the JCS spotted the North Korean soldier lying in a pile of leaves some 50 meters south of the Military Demarcation Line and at around 3:56 p.m. three South Korean troops approached the North Korean soldier.
At Panmunjom, once an obscure farming village inside the 2 1/2-mile-wide DMZ that separating the rivaling countries, North Korean soldiers wearing lapel pins with the images of late North Korean leaders often use binoculars to monitor visitors from the South.
It wasn't immediately known how serious the soldier's injuries were or why he made a decision to defect. 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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