SEOUL, South Korea – Seoul says four North Korean soldiers fired 40 rounds at a comrade fleeing south and hit him five times in the first shootout at the jointly controlled area of the heavily fortified border since 1984.
South Korea's military said Tuesday the soldier first drove a jeep before he left the vehicle and crossed the Joint Security Area inside the Demilitarized Zone during his defection on Monday.
It says he was found beneath a pile of leaves and that South Korean troops crawled there to recover him. A U.N. Command helicopter later transported him to a South Korean hospital. He suffered internal injuries but his condition is not considered life-threatening.
The area is jointly controlled by the American-led U.N. Command and by North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.