The UN Command in Seoul has released a video of how a defecting Korean People's Army (KPA) soldier made the dramatic escape across the border into South Korea. The footage, which was released on Wednesday, 22 November, shows the unnamed man risking his life to make it to safety under a volley of bullets.
On 13 November, the North Korean defector drove a military jeep to the border area before crashing into the side of the road. He then broke into a run towards the military demarcation line that the two countries share while being chased by KPA soldiers who opened fire on him.
According to Reuters, the man sustained six gunshot wounds before collapsing in South Korean territory. One NK soldier is seen crossing the demarcation line before running back across to the northern side of the Joint Security Area (JSA).
South Korean soldiers later rescued the injured man, who collapsed in a pile of leaves. He was then rushed to a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul, in a US military helicopter where he received treatment and regained consciousness.
"He is fine," the hospita's lead surgeon Lee Cook-Jong said at a press conference. "He is not going to die."
The hospital also revealed that the patient could suffer from infections from his wounds and showed signs of depression and possible trauma, in addition to a serious case of parasites that has complicated his treatment. "The patient requires intensive care, detailed tests and observation as there is a chance his condition may worsen," the hospital statement read.
After reviewing footage of the dangerous escape, the UN Command released a statement informing North Korea that it had violated the 1953 armistice agreement when the pursuing soldier crossed over the border.
"The key findings of the special investigation team are that the KPA violated the armistice agreement by one, firing weapons across the MDL, and two, by actually crossing the MDL temporarily," Chad Carroll, Director of Public Affairs for the UNC, told reporters.