SEE IT: North Korean soldier crossed border to stop defector
A North Korean defector braved a hail of bullets during his mad dash to the South as a soldier in close pursuit crossed the border in an attempt to stop him, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The gunfire and the soldier’s brief crossing violated the decades-old Armistice Agreement between the rival nations, U.N. Command spokesman Chad Carroll said during a news briefing.
Carroll narrated several angles of surveillance footage depicting the dramatic Nov. 13 defection.
The video shows the escapee behind the wheel of a Jeep and speeding toward the border to the surprise of Northern soldiers, several who chased after their escaping comrade as he bolted toward the 72-Hour Bridge.
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The defector ditched the vehicle as it crashed into a ditch and ran across a leafy field dotted with trees, prompting four soldiers to open fire as he reached the fortified border in Panmunjom on foot. At least 40 rounds were fired, five of which struck the defector.
One of the soldiers skittered across a white line marking either side of the Military Demarcation Line, lingering for at least a second before returning to the northern territory. The brief foray is a breach of the Korean War Armistice Agreement signed in 1953.
Another camera detected the wounded defector’s heat signature as he laid in a pile of leaves, leaning against a retaining wall. That footage shows three U.N. Command Security Battalion-Joint Security Area crawling toward him.
Two of the soldiers dragged him to safety.
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He was rushed to a hospital where he remains.
The violent defection marked the first shooting at the Joint Security Area since 1984, when U.N Command soldiers exchanged gunfire with a Soviet citizen sprinting toward the South Korean sector.
North Koreans defected at the same crossing in 1998 and 2007 but neither of the incidents resulted in gunfire.
With News Wire Services.
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