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South Korea Says North Shot at Soldier Trying to Defect

2017-11-14

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[00:00.00]
  • North Korean soldiers shot at and wounded another soldier who was crossing the border between the North and South.
  • [00:09.77]
  • The South Korean military said Monday the soldier was trying to defect in the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ.
  • [00:20.28]
  • North Korean soldiers have crossed the border to defect at times.
  • [00:29.44]
  • But it is rare for a North Korean soldier to defect by crossing the DMZ.
  • [00:36.07]
  • North and South Korean soldiers stand meters away from each other.
  • [00:42.95]
  • The North Korean soldier left from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village to the southern side of the village.
  • [00:53.57]
  • He was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was taken to a South Korean hospital, said the South’s Defense Ministry.
  • [01:02.74]
  • It was not immediately known how serious his injuries were or why he decided to defect.
  • [01:11.52]
  • South Korean troops found the injured soldier south of the border after hearing the sound of gunfire.
  • [01:21.06]
  • South Korean troops did not fire at Northern soldiers, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said.
  • [01:29.84]
  • The defection came at a time of heightened tension over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
  • [01:38.86]
  • North Korea has normally accused South Korea of enticing its citizens to defect, something the South denies.
  • [01:49.49]
  • Panmunjom and other DMZ areas are guarded by hundreds of thousands of troops from North Korea and the United Nations Command.
  • [02:01.32]
  • The command includes troops from the United States and South Korea.
  • [02:09.20]
  • The area is a popular stop for visitors from both sides.
  • [02:15.70]
  • American presidents often visit the DMZ during their trips to South Korea.
  • [02:23.29]
  • President Donald Trump planned to visit the DMZ during his visit to South Korea.
  • [02:30.56]
  • But bad weather prevented his helicopter from landing near the border area.
  • [02:37.32]
  • It is estimated that about 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
  • [02:49.85]
  • But most of them travel through China.
  • [02:54.15]
  • In 1998, a North Korean soldier fled to the South through the DMZ, but there have been few incidents in recent years.
  • [03:05.12]
  • Earlier in 1976, North Korean soldiers with axes and knives attacked a group of soldiers in the DMZ, killing two American soldiers and injuring five South Korean soldiers.
  • [03:23.19]
  • The U.S. then flew nuclear-capable B-52 bombers toward the DMZ as a warning to North Korea.
  • [03:33.38]
  • In 1984, North Korean and U.N. Command soldiers exchanged gunfire after a Soviet citizen defected by sprinting to the South Korean side of the village.
  • [03:48.67]
  • Three North Korean soldiers and one South Korean soldier died in the gunfire.
  • [03:55.44]
  • I’m Jonathan Evans.
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