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MAZE.(“Dramatic video shows North Korean soldier’s escape across border”)

November 23, 2017



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  1. “Dramatic video shows North Korean soldier’s escape across border

    CNN Digital Expansion Shoot, Joshua Berlinger

    By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

    Updated 1926 GMT (0326 HKT) November 22, 2017

    (CNN)Dramatic video showing a North Korean soldier fleeing across the border into South Korea while being shot at by his former comrades was released by the United Nations Command Wednesday.
    The video’s release marks the first time the American-led UN Command has disclosed security footage of a defection across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides North and South Korea, said Hochong Song, a public affairs officer for US Forces Korea.

    A North Korean defector darts across the DMZ dividing the two Koreas in this screenshot of handout video provided by the United Nations Command.
    By firing across the DMZ at the defector, North Korean soldiers violated the Korean War armistice, said the UN Command, which oversees the 64-year-old ceasefire agreement. One North Korean soldier also crossed the military demarcation line (MDL) — another violation of the armistice that paused the Korean War in 1953 — said Col. Chad Carroll, US Forces Korea public affairs director. A peace treaty formally ending the war has never been signed.
    Carroll said that the UN Command had notified the North Korean People’s Army of the violations via regular communication channels and requested a meeting to discuss the results of the UN investigation into the incident as well as measures to prevent future such violations.
    “The armistice agreement was challenged, but it remains in place,” Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the American who leads the UN Command.
    The 24-year-old soldier, surnamed Oh, has regained consciousness and is undergoing further treatment, the hospital treating him said Wednesday. He’s been listening to South Korean and Western music and watching television.
    Oh, whose rank has not been revealed, is the third member of the North Korean armed forces to defect this year.
    UN Forces Korea said North Korea has violated the armistice “several” times, but Korean authorities put that number higher.
    According to a document from the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, North Korea has been accused of defying the armistice thousands of times since 1953, though not all the violations are nearly as dramatic as a shootout caught on camera.
    North Korea claims the South has also breached the armistice thousands of times.

    K-pop at the hospital
    More than 40 bullets were fired at him, from pistols and an AK-47, South Korea’s military said last week. South Korean troops did not return fire.
    Oh underwent multiple surgeries and lost more than 50% of his blood by the time he arrived by air at Ajou University Hospital, his surgeon Lee Cook-jong said in a separate news conference Wednesday.
    Lee said it was difficult to tell exactly how many times he was shot. Four major wounds were found, but he could have been shot twice in the same location.

    During treatment, Oh was given four pints of blood and multiple surgeries.
    At one point, doctors considered amputating his left arm due to nerve damage. His intestines and motor functions are also permanently damaged.
    Though he stabilized Sunday afternoon after his breathing tube was removed, Oh was still in considerable pain, Lee said.
    But he has regained consciousness and is now in “great” condition, according to Lee
    “It’s only in the movies where a patient would gain consciousness right after a surgery and walk away. It’s not like that in reality,” said Lee.
    Oh was also found to have dozens of parasites, some as long as 27 centimeters, in his ruptured intestines, which may be reflective of poor nutrition and health in North Korea’s military.
    When speaking to reporters, Lee said he felt Oh had come to South Korea of his own free will.
    The surgeon said he’s talked to his patient “a lot,” speaking mostly about music. Oh was listening to the K-pop band Girls Generation and watching South Korean and American movies and television. Oh has particularly enjoyed “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” Lee said.

    CNN’s Taehoon Lee, Sol Han and Jake Kwon contributed to this report ”

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