North Korea accused of violating armistice by pursuing defecting soldier

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

(CNN) -- North Korea stands accused of violating the armistice agreement between North and South Korea, after North Korean soldiers fired across the military demarcation line (MDL) that divides the two countries in pursuit of a defector last week.

The United Nations Command in South Korea played dramatic security footage of the soldier's brazen defection across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) at a news conference in Seoul Wednesday. It showed the soldier running across the border as North Korean soldiers shot at him and officers later crawling to rescue him.

As well as firing across the border, one North Korea soldier crossed the MDL -- another violation of the armistice that paused the Korean War in 1953, said Col. Chad Carroll, US Forces Korea Public Affairs Director Col. A peace treaty formally ending the war has never been signed.

Carroll said that the UN Command had notified the North Korean People's Army of the violations via regular communication channels and had requested a meeting.

The soldier is the third member of the North Korean armed forces to defect this year.

According to information released by officials last week, the soldier drove a vehicle near the military demarcation line and then "exited the vehicle and continued fleeing south across the line as he was fired upon by other soldiers from North Korea."

More than 40 bullets were fired at the soldier, from pistols and an AK-47, South Korea's military said. South Korean troops did not return fire.

The soldier was evacuated for emergency medical treatment and required multiple surgeries. On Wednesday last week, the soldier was on life support.

Ajou University Hospital Trauma Surgery Department told reporters the soldier sustained five gunshot wounds on his right buttock, left armpit, back shoulder, right upper arm and right knee.

A rupture in in his small intestine revealed the presence of full-grown parasites, the biggest of which was 27 cm.


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