Hospital says N. Korean soldier's condition stabilizing

Hospital officials say the condition of a North Korean soldier severely wounded by gunfire while escaping to South Korea is gradually improving after two surgeries but it's too early to tell whether he makes a recovery.

An official at the Ajou University Medical Center near Seoul said Saturday the soldier's vital signs are stabilizing and no further operations are planned yet.

The soldier remains unconscious and relying on a breathing machine.

Surgeons removed dozens of parasites from his ruptured small intestine, which may be reflective of poor nutrition and health in North Korea's military.

South Korea's military says North Korean soldiers on Monday used handguns and AK rifles to fire at their comrade as he escaped to the South through a jointly patrolled area on the border.