North Korean shot at while defecting to South

North Korean shot at while defecting to South

The soldier bolted from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village in the Joint Security Area, where border guards of the rival Koreas stand facing each other just feet away.

The battle groups of the USS Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and the Nimitz will successively enter the exercise area during the drills that run until Tuesday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

It wasn't known how serious the soldier's injury was.

South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo said it was the first time North Korean soldiers had fired towards the South's side of the JSA, prompting complaints from some lawmakers that the South's military should have returned fire.

"The military has raised its alertness against the North Korean military's possible provocations and is maintaining its full readiness posture", a military official said, according to Yonhap. An estimated 1,000 people flee Kim Jong Un's volatile regime each year, but going through the DMZ - fortified with land mines, barbed wires and machine guns - have been extremely rare because of the risky conditions. According to South Korean President, trade turnover increased from January to September by 50%.

He also said "it would be very, very nice" if he and Kim became friends.

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The news comes as a North Korean soldier defected by running across the DMZ on Monday.

South Korean officials have yet to identify where the soldier came from or what his intentions were. It's created as a buffer zone when the three-year Korean War ended with an armistice in 1953. More than a million mines are believed to be buried inside the zone.

Areas around Panmunjom have been the site of bloodshed and defection attempts by North Koreans in the past, but there have been no such incidents in recent years.

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North Korea has this year been boosting its nuclear and missile capacity with a series of tests as it faces off with U.S. President Donald Trump who has vowed to stop it from being able to hit the mainland United States with a nuclear weapon.

According to this view, the comments were a signal from the Chinese government to related Chinese industries and officials - which were coming across translations of a significant number of reports from the South Korean press predicting an easing of tensions after the October 31 deliberations - that there had been no abrupt change in policy.

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