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N. Korean soldier defects to South

N. Korean soldier defects to South

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 will "inform the DPRK of the 19th CPC National Congress and visit the DPRK", Xinhua said on Wednesday, using the North's official name and referring to China's recently concluded Communist Party Congress at which Xi further cemented his power. He was reportedly in critical condition.

In Monday's incident, it wasn't known if the North continued firing after the defector was officially in the southern part of the Joint Security Area.

It marks the first massive joint drills since Seoul and Washington agreed last month to enhance rotational deployments of U.S. strategic assets to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

The UN Security Council has unanimously ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006.

Ja said Monday the U.S. "is now running amok for war exercises by introducing nuclear war equipment in and around the Korean peninsula, thereby proving that the U.S. itself is the major offender of the escalation of tension and undermining of the peace".

The soldier sped toward a guard post, but the vehicle's wheels got stuck in a ditch, Roh told reporters.

Along with the three carrier groups, he said, the U.S. has reactivated round-the-clock sorties with nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bombers "which existed during the Cold War times".

President Donald Trump looks on during the gala dinner marking ASEAN's 50th anniversary in Manila Philippines
N. Korean soldier defects to South

The soldier was found under a pile of leaves, Roh said, adding he was in uniform but unarmed.

He says his crime was very small but his grandfather was originally from South Korea.

"We will have to ride out some crucial moments over the next 10 days", Lee said.

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.

The DMZ is a 2.5-mile wide, 150-mile-long buffer zone lined with barbed wire and dotted with landmines. The statement also referred to Trump as a "dotard", an insulting term for old people who are going senile.

The 1953 armistice that ended the fighting but left the countries technically at war was signed in one of the blue buildings that straddle the Military Demarcation Line.

This makes the area a popular stop for visitors from both sides. The last time China's special envoy for North Korea visited the country was in February last year.

Violence has broken out in the area in the past.