by WorldTribune Staff, November 14, 2017
A North Korean soldier on Nov. 13 managed to flee across the DMZ to South Korea amid a barrage of bullets fired by his former comrades, five of which hit him before he collapsed in leaves that had accumulated on the ground south of the military demarcation line (MDL).
The unarmed soldier was recovered by South Korean and U.S. soldiers and transported to a hospital south of Seoul.
A medical team led by Lee Guk-Jong from Ajou University Hospital, has removed five bullets from the soldier – two from his shoulder, two from his abdomen and one from his thigh.
Doctors said the wounds caused severe damage to the defector’s internal organs and “the soldier is on an artificial respirator,” adding he will “have to fight for his survival over the next 10 days.”
The unidentified soldier drove a car to the Panmunjom area, exited the vehicle “and continued fleeing south” across the (MDL), according to the United Nations Command (UNC).
The soldier “initially took cover near a building on the southern side of the JSA,” the UNC said, using the abbreviation for the Joint Security Area (JSA).
Four North Korean soldiers gave chase, firing shots with their pistols and AK-47 rifles, an official at the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, citing CCTV footage of the scene.
He was hit by five of the 40 rounds the pursuing soldiers fired at him while running away from the North in the area inside the heavily fortified DMZ.
It’s unclear whether the North’s troops actually crossed the MDL, even for seconds, during the chase, the JCS said.