North Korean soldier makes a run for freedom

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un

"We played him three versions of Girls" Generation's "Gee' [one of the popular K-pop song that the South Korean soldiers stationed at the border play on loudspeakers] the original version, the rock version and the indie band version". The shock of soldiers watching the jeep rush by is palpable from the video released Wednesday, and no wonder: They're beginning to realize that one of their comrades is defecting to the South.

A North Korean soldier shot by the DPRK border guards while escaping to the South, has gained consciousness, South Korean doctors say.

After he was shot, the defector collapsed against a wall on the South Korean side. He kicks up leaves, ducking below a tree branch just as the North Korean soldiers skid into view.

The soldier was shot several times by fellow North Korean soldiers as he fled across the border to South Korea on November 13.

During multiple surgical procedures, doctors found dozens of parasites in his digestive tract, shedding light on the humanitarian crisis in North Korea, even for its soldiers.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces in Korea and the head of U.N. Command, said the service members on the southern side "took appropriate actions" during the incident to de-escalate tensions and prevent anyone being killed.

Guarded by mines, barbed wire fences, tank traps and combat troops on both sides, the Demilitarised Zone is the world's most heavily fortified border.




Pyongyang has been accused of violating the 1953 armistice agreement between the North and South by firing across the line dividing the two countries.

CCTV released by United Nation Command shows the man racing a military jeep into the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom, where soldiers from the South and North watch each other just metres apart.

North Korea's actions during the defector's November 13 escape at Panmunjom violated the armistice agreement ending the 1950-53 Korean War because North Korean soldiers fired across and physically crossed the border in pursuit of the soldier, US Colonel Chad G Carroll, a spokesman for the United Nations command, told reporters in a live TV briefing.

"The patient is clearly conscious", Lee Cook-jong, the surgeon treating him, told Yonhap News in a press briefing.

"This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons, and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

UN Command spokesman Colonel Chad Carroll said one of the North Korean border guards also physically crossed the border "for a few seconds" in pursuit of the defecting soldier.

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