Soldier shot by North Korean guards while defecting to the South

Soldier shot by North Korean guards while defecting to the South

North Korea complained to the United Nations on Monday about joint military exercises by the United State and South Korea, describing it as "the worst ever situation" because U.S. nuclear war equipment had been deployed ready to strike.

The soldier shot and injured by the North Korean side while defecting from a military post in front of Panmungak, the main building managed by North Korea in the Joint Security Area, the JCS said in a statement.

North Korean military personnel are reportedly preparing for their winter training exercises as three United States aircraft carriers lurk near the Korean Peninsula in an unprecedented show of force by Washington's navy.

Suh Wook, chief director of operations for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers that North Korea fired a total of about 40 rounds in a shooting that his office suggested started while the soldier was in the jeep.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to the Kumsong Tractor Factory in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the Korean War, but most travel through China.

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President Xi's special envoy, Song Tao, will visit North Korea to inform its leadership about the outcome of the recent national congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), state-run Xinhua news agency said, without mentioning Trump's visit or the North Korea's nuclear programmes.

The defection came less than a week after President Donald Trump made his first official visit to South Korea amid soaring tensions over the growing nuclear and missile threat from the North. "Trump, during his visit, laid bare his true nature as destroyer of the world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula", a North Korean official said in a statement on Saturday.

Panmunjomis where an armistice was signed to pause the Korean War.

The most famous incident was in 1976, when two American army officers were killed by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers. While both sides of the DMZ are guarded by barbed wire fences, mines and tank traps, the JSA includes the truce village of Panmunjom which provides the site for rare talks and draws curious tourists. That prompted Washington to send nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to intimidate the North before the adversaries pulled back from the brink of conflict.

From there they can seek sanctuary and organise a flight to South Korea, where defectors are given assistance and prepared for life outside the hermit state.

The incident left three North Korean soldiers and one South Korean soldier dead.

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