UN Command Postpones Disclosing CCTV Footage of N. Korean Soldier's Defection

Sergio Conner
November 17, 2017

A South Korean soldier talks with a surgeon at a hospital where a North Korean soldier who defected to the South after being shot and wounded by the North Korean military is hospitalized, in Suwon, South Korea, on November 13, 2017.

North Korean defectors often come over to South Korea with parasites, in one case with more than 30 types of ringworm. The North has expressed intense anger over past high-profile defections.

Military officials and analysts in Seoul said the military's refrained response was the right move, given that the United States commander assumes operational control in the JSA and any small-scale conflicts run the risk of escalating into an all-out war.

He is still said to be in a critical condition.

"The patient is being administered sedatives in the intensive care unit and mechanical ventilation is maintained using a life support device", Lee said, adding more surgery were likely to follow, and the soldier may suffer permanent nerve injury or paralysis as a result of his injuries.

On Monday, he first drove a military jeep but left the vehicle when one of its wheels fell into a ditch.

North Korean soldiers are then believed to have fired around 40 rounds in a bid to stop him.

In 2004, South Korea took over the duty of maintaining security inside the JSA from the US forces stationed in Korea. He was pulled to safety by three South Korean soldiers who crawled to reach him, just south of the dividing line. A U.N. Command helicopter later transported him to the Ajou medical center, according to South Korean officials.

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Between January and September, China exported almost 49,000 tonnes of corn to North Korea, compared with 3,125 tonnes in 2016, according to figures from Beijing.

President Moon Jae-in, too, has noted a need for South Korean troops at the JSA to be able to counter North Korean attacks.

The United Nations Command reportedly said that the defector, while escaping his country, drove a vehicle near the military demarcation line between the two Koreas - the demilitarized zone (DMZ) - and then "exited the vehicle and continued fleeing south across the line as he was sacked upon by other soldiers from North Korea".

North Korea may have violated the armistice with the US and South Korea by firing an AK-47 assault rifle in the DMZ.

A North Korean soldier who was shot while fleeing the border has become the latest topic of discussion across countries.

The North Korean soldier made the unsafe crossing between the two countries on Monday, and was immediately taken to hospital after being shot five times during his escape. Inside the soldier's gut, they also found corn, a staple grain of the North Korean diet.

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.

The soldier took cover behind a South Korean structure in a Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas.

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