NK military preparing for winter training: S. Korea

15 November, 2017, 10:39 | Author: Wade Massey
  • NK military preparing for winter training: S. Korea

A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea through the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone, Monday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

A North Korean soldier who suffered critical gunshot wounds during a defection dash this week over the border with South Korea was being operated upon for a second time early on Wednesday, the hospital treating him said.

It's the same border area which was visited by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis less than a month ago. A U.N. Command helicopter later transported him to the Ajou medical center, according to South Korean officials.

Seo went on to say that at 3:31 p.m., the JCS spotted the North Korean soldier lying in a pile of leaves some 50 meters south of the Military Demarcation Line and at around 3:56 p.m. three South Korean troops approached the North Korean soldier.

While on average more than 1,000 North Koreans defect to South Korea every year, most travel via China and it is unusual for a North Korean to cross the land border with South Korea. "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.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been sharply escalating in recent months with both sides indicating that they will not hesitate to engage in military action.

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The announcement about the Chinese envoy's visit came after Trump during talks with Xi last week urged him to to do more to use China's influence to pressure North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to give up nuclear weapons programme.

North Korea warned Monday that the unprecedented deployment of three US aircraft carrier groups "taking up a strike posture" around the Korean peninsula is making it impossible to predict when nuclear war will break out.

The UN Security Council has unanimously ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006.

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.

Although there have been a handful of defections across the DMZ in recent years, escapes through the tense Joint Security Area are rare. That prompted Washington to send nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to intimidate the North before the adversaries pulled back from the brink of conflict.

Two American soldiers also were killed in the DMZ by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers in a 1976 brawl over an attempt to trim a poplar tree.

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