North Korean Soldier Shot While Fleeing Across The DMZ

Monday, November 13, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Nov 13, 2017

Less than a week after an unusually heavy bout of fog forced President Donald Trump to cancel a hastily scheduled visit to the DMZ, one North Korean soldier succeeded in pulling off one of the most extraordinarily brazen defections in recent memory when he bolted across the heavily fortified four-kilometer border area, successfully completing his trip to the South despite being shot twice by his fellow troops.

The New York Times reported that the North Korean soldier defected through Panmunjom, a village that straddles the border between the two Koreas. Alerted by gunshots, South Korean guards found the North Korean soldier about 55 yards south of the border line that bisects Panmunjom. He was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds to an elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.

As the Associated Press pointed out, North Korean soldiers have occasionally defected to South Korea across the border. But it’s rare for a North Korean soldier to defect by fleeing across the Joint Security Area, where border guards of the rival Koreas stand facing each other just meters away. The fact that he was shot twice during it makes his success all the more improbable.

The soldier bolted from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village, a once-obscure farming village inside the DMZ. He entered South Korea through the southern side of the village, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was taken to a South Korean hospital, the South’s Defense Ministry said. It wasn’t immediately known how serious the soldier’s injuries were or why he decided to defect.

As the soldier was making his escape, the US Navy was conducting an unprecedented show of force in the waters off the peninsula as three US aircraft carriers participated in the drills – the first time in 13 years that three aircraft carriers were mobilized at once.

According to the New York Times, more than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to the South since a widespread famine hit the impoverished North in the late 1990s. Nearly all of them have traveled through China. But a handful of North Korean soldiers and civilians have defected by crossing the 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized zone, which is guarded by minefields, sentry posts and tall fences topped with barbed wire, some electrified.

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