Defecting North Korean soldier in critical condition after being shot

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 07:43:55 AM. A North Korean soldier who was shot while defecting to the South is in a critical condition, but doctors are expected to save him.
Photo: It is extremely rare for North Korean soldiers to defect via the Demilitarised Zone. (ABC News: Candice Marshall) A North Korean soldier who was shot while defecting to the South has undergone several surgical procedures and is in a critical condition, but doctors are expected to save him, South Korea's government and military say. "Until this morning, we heard he had no consciousness and was unable to breathe on his own but his life can be saved," said Suh Uk, a South Korean military official who was briefing parliamentary members regarding Monday's event. Five bullets had been extracted from the soldier's body so far, leaving an estimated two inside, Mr Suh added. Lee Cook-jong, the surgeon in charge of the soldier's treatment, told reporters earlier on Tuesday the patient's condition was critical due to intestinal damage caused by the bullets. North Korea's military took action when the defector was spotted in a four-wheel-drive heading towards the border alone, Roh Jae-cheon, a spokesman for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a media briefing on Tuesday. Mr Suh said the soldier had sped towards the border in a vehicle when a wheel came loose, forcing him to escape on foot under fire from North Korean soldiers who shot about 40 rounds at him. The soldier took cover behind a South Korean structure within the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas, and was later rescued by South Korean and US soldiers at the border,...Read more
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