China to send special envoy to North Korea

China to send special envoy to North Korea

"He then exited the vehicle and continued fleeing south across the line as he was sacked upon by other soldiers from North Korea", the UNC said in a statement.

The stunning escape occurred Monday at a jointly controlled area that is the only point where soldiers from the two sides face each other in the Demilitarized Zone.

He suffered a gunshot wound and is now recovering in a South Korean hospital, the military said.

It's the same border area which was visited by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis less than a month ago. The North's drills are expected to run from December to April, according to the South Korean military.

Seoul has also placed its army in full combat readiness in order to tackle any form of provocation by the North.

The United States has said that all options, including military, are on the table to deal with North Korea, although its preference is for a diplomatic solution.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to the Kumsong Tractor Factory in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

North Korea has remained silent on the issue, while no unusual activity has been detected at its border with the South where the soldier defected, the South's Unification Ministry said.

There was no armed conflict between the two sides, the military said. "The individual initially took cover near a building on the southern side of the JSA."U.S. and South Korean forces recovered him at about 4 p.m., then took him to Ajou University Medical Center south of Seoul, along with a UNC security escort and translator, it said".

The defection came during escalated tensions between the North and the South and almost a week after President Trump visited Seoul for his five-country Asia tour.

Panmunjomis where an armistice was signed to pause the Korean War.

North Korea has typically accused South Korea of enticing its citizens to defect, something the South denies.

The JSA is a small strip of land on the border between the Koreas where troops from both sides stand face-to-face.

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

There was no immediate comment on the incident from North Korea.

The 1984 exchange of gunfire happened after North Korean soldiers crossed the border and fired, according to the U.N. Command.

The ambassador said the United States had reactivated round-the-clock sorties by B-52 strategic bombers and was making frequent flights of B-1B and B-2 bombers in the air space of South Korea.

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