South Korea rejected Japan involvement in joint USA military drills

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 15, 2017

A North Korean soldier was shot and injured by his own side Monday while defecting to South Korea at the border truce village of Panmunjom, the South's military said. The soldier was in serious condition at a South Korean hospital on Wednesday following two rounds of surgeries. In 1998, a North Korean solider fled to South Korea via Panmunjom.

The Trump administration's plan to show a united front against North Korea in the Sea of Japan took a step back this week as South Korea rejected a USA proposal to conduct a trilateral military exercise that would have included participation from Japan.

On Donald Trump's recent trip to South Korea, the USA president toned down his rhetoric and urged North Korea to come to the table and "make a deal".

The solider was found beneath a pile of leaves on the southern side of the JSA and South Korean troops crawled there to recover him.

North Korean government officials told CNN's Will Ripley in Pyongyang last week that the United States was increasingly taking action that could "ignite another Korean War". About 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea, mostly via China, since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

He received gunshot wounds to the shoulder and elbow from North Korean forces while defecting. USA and South Korean forces guarding their side did not return fire.

"Currently, there are no unusual signs in the North Korean military, but we are increasing alertness against the possibility of North Korean provocations", officials said.

The 1984 exchange of gunfire happened after North Korean soldiers crossed the border and fired, according to the U.N. Command. But it is very rare for civilians to cross the closely guarded border with the South, which is fortified with minefields and barbed wire.

"Since it was an area exposed to the North, we had to crawl toward there to get him out", the official added.

In an interview earlier this year with NPR, DiMaggio said that she was concerned that Trump's language could lead to a situation where the USA and North Korea misread each other.

The soldier, whose rank and identity have not been released, tried to escape in a military jeep at the Joint Security Area, where the two sides face each other in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula.

The presidency has changed since, from the former Park Geun-hye administration to the incumbent Moon Jae-in's, but the tension is continuing to build up with North's reluctance to denuclearize and come forward for dialogue.

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