Shot NKorean defector critical
A North Korean soldier shot while defecting to the South has undergone several surgical procedures and is in a critical condition, but doctors expect to save him.
"Until this morning, we heard he had no consciousness and was unable to breathe on his own but his life can be saved," said Suh Wook, chief director of operations at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Five bullets had been extracted from the soldier's body so far, leaving an estimated two inside, Suh added.Powerful winds raise California fire risk
The soldier had sped towards the border in a vehicle when a wheel came loose, forcing him to escape on foot under fire from four North Korean soldiers who shot around 40 rounds at him, Suh said.
North Korea's military took action when the defector was spotted in the four wheel drive heading towards the border alone, Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesman for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a media briefing.
The soldier took cover behind a South Korean structure within the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas and was later rescued by South Korean and US soldiers at the border, the United Nations Command (UNC) said in a separate statement.Exiled king's remains reburied in Italy
IHe was found unarmed and taken to surgery while still in his uniform, which indicated he held a lower rank, Suh said. South Korean officials have yet to identify exactly where the soldier came from and what his intentions were.
It's the first time since 2007 a North Korean soldier has defected across the JSA. South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo, who was also at parliament said it was the first time North Korean soldiers had fired towards the South's side of the JSA, prompting complaints from some lawmakers the South's military should have also fired shots towards the North.