Soldier suffers gunshot wounds from own military while escaping to South Korea.
A North Korean soldier has been shot and injured by his own military as he defected to the South in broad daylight on Monday, according to Seoul’s military.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSA) said the soldier, who appeared to be low ranking in the North's military, was shot as he crossed the Joint Security Area (JSA) at around 3.30 p.m. local time (0630GMT).
The JSA is the only location along the inter-Korean Demilitarized Zone where guards from both sides stand face to face.
Despite gunshots from the North, there was no subsequent exchange of fire as the South was able to tend to the fallen soldier. He was airlifted to hospital in South Korea after suffering wounds to his shoulder and elbow.
The incident represents the third North Korean military defection this year, although it is rare for such crossings to occur along the inter-Korean border. Escapes are more common through China.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day South Korean police arrested a 58-year-old American citizen for trespassing beyond the Civilian Control Line, south of the border with the North.
Yonhap News Agency reported the man from Louisiana arrived in South Korea three days before his attempted journey to the North "for political purposes."
The U.S. banned its citizens from traveling to the reclusive state after the death of 22-year-old student Otto Warmbier just days after he was released from a North Korean prison in a comatose condition.