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North Korean Soldier Is Shot While Defecting Across DMZ, South Says

14 November 2017, 10:29 | Kevin Scott

US, South Korea start drills in show of force against the North

Three F  A-18E Super Hornets fly in formation over the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Nimitz and their strike groups along with ships from the Republic of Korea Navy as they transit the Western

The demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas was the scene of an unusual amount of action Monday as an American man unsuccessfully attempted to cross into the North and a North Korean soldier succeeded in defecting to the South.

South Korean naval vessels will participate in the drill in waters off the east coast, the South's joint chiefs of staff said in a statement.

"Our military maintains full readiness while strengthening the alert in preparation for the possibility of provocations by the North Korean army", the JCS said. Yonhap News agency said Kim's military officials reportedly "cherry-pick" loyal soldiers who are stationed at the DMZ. A U.N. Command helicopter later transported him to the Ajou medical center, according to South Korean officials.

He was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds to his elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.

Monday was the first time since 2007 a North Korean soldier had defected across the JSA.

During his visit to Seoul last week, Trump warned North Korea he was prepared to use the full range of USA military power to stop any attack, but in a more conciliatory appeal than ever before he urged Pyongyang to "make a deal" to end the nuclear standoff. They stand only several yards away from tall South Korean soldiers wearing aviator sunglasses and standing motionless like statues.

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The 1953 ceasefire ending Korean War hostilities was signed at Panmunjom, and it has since hosted numerous rounds of inter-Korean talks - sometimes held in huts that straddle both sides of the border line.

But there was no direct exchange of gunfire between South and North Korean guards in the process.

Trump is at the end of his 12-day tour to Asia where he's meeting with leaders and addressing the denuclearization of North Korea. In September the North carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, of what it described as a hydrogen bomb.

He added that Russian Federation, like South Korea, has deep interest in the peace of the Korean Peninsula, emphasizing it is his country's persistent stance.

There was no immediate comment on the incident from North Korea.

The Associated Press contribute to this report.



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