Korean soldier shot while defecting to South

N. Korea defector in serious condition from gunshot wounds

The exercises, which also have involved US B-1 bombers, help to constitute "the worst ever situation prevailing in and around the Korean Peninsula", Ja Song Nam, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations, said in a letter Monday to the secretary-general.

"I've never seen such injuries outside of a textbook in more than 20 years of my career", Lee Cook-jong, the surgeon in charge of the soldier, said at a media briefing. He then fled across the JSA, with fellow soldiers chasing and firing at him, South Korea's military said, citing unspecified surveillance systems installed in the area.

"It could be assessed the USA efforts and approach toward North Korea are producing a degree of results", Lim told the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee on Friday, referring to the hiatus in North Korean provocations since September 15.

Seoul's unification ministry said that the level of North Korea's denunciation softened compared with its immediate condemnation back in 2014 when Trump's predecessor Barack Obama visited Seoul.

The defector is now in South Korean military custody, according to the statement.

"We sent three of the largest aircraft carriers in the world (to the Korean Peninsula), and a nuclear submarine is also positioned", President Donald Trump said after his arrival last week in South Korea. They have previously accused South Korea of kidnapping or enticing North Koreans to defect. But it is very rare for civilians to cross the closely guarded border with the South, which is fortified with minefields and barbed wire.

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Monday's incident was the first shooting at the Joint Security Area since North Korean and U.N. Command soldiers traded gunfire when a Soviet citizen defected by sprinting to the South Korean sector of the JSA in 1984.

"Currently, there are no unusual signs in the North Korean military, but we are increasing alertness against the possibility of North Korean provocations", officials said.

In an interview earlier this year with NPR, DiMaggio said that she was concerned that Trump's language could lead to a situation where the US and North Korea misread each other.

The same day the Louisiana man was arrested, North Korean troops in the same western portion of the DMZ fired at a comrade who fled to the South at a jointly controlled DMZ area.

The drill comes in response to a series of nuclear and missile threats from North Korea and is created to show tyrannical leader Kim Jong-un that any further threats will be repelled with "overwhelming force".

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