South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) has assessed that North Korean troops fired some 40 rounds at a North Korean soldier as he sprinted across the heavily-fortified border to defect to the South on Monday.
The head of the JCS’ operations center, Seo Wook, revealed the assessment on Tuesday when he gave a briefing at the National Assembly’s National Defense Committee.
Seo said that at around 3:14 p.m. on Monday, the JCS spotted three North Korean soldiers moving south of the Panmungak, or the North's main building in the Joint Security Area. Seo said that shortly after, one North Korean soldier was seen crossing toward the South on a jeep. Seo said three North Korean troops and one soldier who were on guard opened fire on the escaping soldier, firing around 40 shots.
Seo went on to say that at 3:31 p.m., the JCS spotted the North Korean soldier lying in a pile of leaves some 50 meters south of the Military Demarcation Line and at around 3:56 p.m. three South Korean troops approached the North Korean soldier.
Seo said the North Korean soldier appears to have been shot in five places, adding that he had his first operation on Monday. Seo said it is unclear how long it will take for the soldier to recover, adding that doctors say they will decide in two to three days if he requires another operation.
At the parliamentary committee, Defense Minister Song Young-moo said that as of Tuesday morning he has been briefed that the wounds the soldier suffered are not life-threatening.