In Brief

Bullets fly as video captures North Korean defector’s escape

UN footage shows troops shooting fellow soldier as he races to cross border

The UN has released dramatic video showing North Korean soldiers opening fire on a military colleague who is shot as he runs across the border before being dragged to safety by South Korea troops.

The footage - circulated by the United Nations Command in the South - shows the unnamed soldier racing towards the border village of Panmunjom in a military vehicle before crashing and continuing on foot.

He was shot at least five times, reports The Guardian, but is “showing signs of recovery” following his escape last week, according to South Korea government officials.

The video “shows the man collapsed on the ground after being shot just south of the demilitarised zone [DMZ]”, the newspaper says. Three members of South Korea’s security forces crawl towards the wounded defector and drag him to safety.

“Defections across the demilitarised zone, let alone the JSA [joint security area], are very rare - and none have been quite as dramatic as this,” says the BBC.

“Surprisingly, North and South Korean soldiers didn’t exchange fire in the first shooting in the area in more than three decades,” The Daily Telegraph adds.

South Korean officials said the defector recovered consciousness over the weekend and asked if he was in South Korea. Since then “doctors have played South Korean pop music for him, and American action movies”, says Reuters.

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