In a video released by the UN Command (UNC) in Seoul on Wednesday showed North Korean border guards chasing an escaping comrade during which they even opened fire in an attempt to kill. One of the gunmen even briefly crossed the border pursuing the wounded defector as he dashed to the South Korean side. The defecting soldier’s rank and identity has not been disclosed. The defector has been wounded critically since he has been hit five to six times during his desperate attempt to escape to the other side on November 13. The soldier was flown by a US military helicopter to a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul. The UNC official told a news conference that a soldier from the North Korean People’s Army (KPA) had crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), the border between the two Koreas, for a few seconds as others fired shots at the defecting soldier.
The dramatic video begins showing a lone four-wheel army jeep military vehicle speeding along empty, tree-lined roads toward the border, passing checkpoints manned by North Korean guards who can be seen leaving their posts and running in pursuit as the vehicle races by. After passing a memorial to North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, where tourists often gather for tours of the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarized zone, the vehicle runs into a ditch. For several minutes the driver appears to try to free the vehicle, but the wheels spin uselessly. The driver then runs for his life even as he is followed by four of his comrades. Though the video ceases to show the moment when the defector was shot, he is seen lying motionless in a pile of dead leaves.
Incredible footage of the North Korean soldier making his escape through the DMZ, first in a jeep and then on foot. Can clearly see North Koreans running to shoot their “comrade” pic.twitter.com/JRzTdYBvq4
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) November 22, 2017
Doctors announced on Wednesday that he had regained consciousness, having had two operations to extract the bullets, and his breathing was stable and unassisted “He is fine,” lead surgeon Lee Cook-Jong said at a press conference in Suwon. “He is not going to die.” The incident comes at a time of heightened tensions between North Korea and the international community over its nuclear weapons program, but Pyongyang has not publicly responded to the high-profile defection at the sensitive border.