November 22, 2017 8:04 am
Updated: November 22, 2017 10:52 am

Dramatic video shows North Korean soldier fleeing across border as he’s shot at

WARNING: Video contains graphic images. Discretion is advised. The UN Command has released video of a North Korean soldier's dash across the DMZ in an effort to defect to the South, while under fire by his fellow countrymen.

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Dramatic video has emerged showing a North Korean soldier escaping across the border into South Korea while being shot at by his former comrades.

The video was released Wednesday by the United Nations Command (UNC) in Seoul. It shows North Korean border guards opening fire at the defector as he dashed across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) at Panmunjom, the “truce village” that divides the two countries.

He was hit at least four times and critically wounded as he tried to make his desperate escape on Nov. 13.

READ MORE: North Korean defector stable, but riddled with parasites

Three members of South Korea’s security battalion security forces crawled to the wounded defector and dragged him to safety. He was then flown by a U.S. military helicopter to a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul.

WATCH: North Korea violated armistice to chase defector, says U.N. Command

One of the worst wounds was in the man’s abdomen, where the bullet shattered his pelvis.

On Wednesday, doctors said he had regained consciousness, having had two operations to extract the bullets, and his breathing was stable and unassisted.

WATCH: North Korean military shoots and wounds fellow soldier trying to defect to South Korea


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“He is fine,” lead surgeon Lee Cook-Jong said at a press conference in Suwon. “He is not going to die.”

The surgeon gave the soldier’s age as 24 and identified him by the family name Oh.

“From a medical point of view he was almost dead when he was first brought here,” Lee said.

READ MORE: North Korean defector stable, but riddled with parasites

Doctors removed dozens of parasites from the defector’s ruptured small intestine, including a 27-centimetre roundworm.

A spokesperson for the UN command said by firing across the DMZ at the defector, North Korean soldiers violated the 1953 Korean War armistice.

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North Korea has not publicly commented on the defector, who was a soldier from the North Korean People’s Army.

He is the third member of the North Korean armed forces to defect this year.

The incident comes at a time of heightened tensions between North Korea and the international community over its nuclear weapons program, but Pyongyang has not publicly responded to the high-profile defection at the sensitive border.

— With files from Reuters

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