A North Korean soldier, believed to be a private, has been shot in the afternoon of November 13 and has fled to South Korea through the Joint Security Area(JSA) in Panmunjom. He was bleeding from gunshot wounds inflicted by North Korean border guards while he was defecting.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff called on North Korea to return to the “house of freedom” at a North Korean military base located in front of Panmunjom in the joint security zone in Panmunjom. “This soldier was shot by the North Korean army and wounded on his elbows and shoulders.
“We used the UNC helicopter to carry it to the safe area.” The soldier was transferred to the Severe Trauma Center of Aju University Hospital in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, and was treated by a professor Lee Kuk Jong, the director of the center. Professor Lee is a trauma therapist who rescued Captain Seok Hae Gyun, who suffered a gunshot wound on his body by pirates at the time of the ‘Operation Dawn of Gulf of Aden’.
The soldier is known to have no disruption to his life, but his recovery is likely to be known only after healing. Professor Lee said, “If I continue the operation, I think that the patient will not be able to withstand the physical strength. I have finished the operation on this day. There is no problem in the life of the patient, but the second and third surgery is needed in the future.”
Korean Army set up emergency operations at 3:31 pm on several occasions when gunshots were fired at the base of the North Korean border, and North Korean soldiers crossed the border and observed collapse in an open space 50 meters southward from the military demarcation line.
Korean Army guards approached this soldier in a low attitude, such as crawling, and brought them to a safe place behind the house of freedom at 3:56 pm. A military official said, “There was no response from the North Korean side while our detainees brought this North Korean soldier. There was no engagement between the two Koreas.”
The North Korean soldiers were wearing unmanned military uniforms at the time of returning and were unarmed. The military plans to investigate the identity of the soldiers as well as the motives that led them to the south as the treatment was completed. The soldier is believed to have run out of the North Korean army base, but a military official said, “After analyzing the CCTV and the statement, I can reveal it.”
The case that the North Korean army goes down to the south beyond the military demarcation(DMZ) line occurs year after year, but it is not common when the North Korean army goes through the joint security zone(JSA) in Panmunjom.
In March 1967, Lee Soo Geun, who was vice president of North Korea’s Chosun Central Communications, came to Panmunjom, a South-North Military Armistice Commission, and crossed the border with North Korea’s guards. In February 1998, the top of the North Korean troops returned to the Panmunjom joint security area. An official from the Ministry of National Defense said, “In September 2007, North Korean soldiers were fled to Panmunjom, but they were not released to the press and it has been 10 years since then.”
Photos by Yonhap News
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