A North Korean military defector fled across the border to South Korea as he was pursued and shot at by his compatriots before being hauled to safety by troops from the other side, according to new footage released by the UN command in the South Korea on November 22.
Incredible footage of the North Korean soldier making his escape through the DMZ, first in a jeep and then on foot. Can clearly see North Koreans running to shoot their “comrade” pic.twitter.com/JRzTdYBvq4
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) 22 November 2017
The defector was shot and injured during a rare but successful attempt to defect to South Korea by escaping across the countries’ heavily armed border on November 13. The video shows him racing towards the border village of Panmunjom in a military vehicle before crashing it and continuing his escape on foot. It also shows the man collapsed on the ground after being shot just south of the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).
Yonhap news quoted a government official as saying that the soldier had regained consciousness and had asked to watch television. He was being shown South Korean films for his “psychological comfort”, the official said. Parasitic worms have been found inside the soldier, highlighting nutrition and hygiene problems that observers believe have plagued the isolated country for decades. One of the worms was 11 inches long. The parasites appear to confirm that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in North Korea.
This defection came before an interview with a former female North Korean soldier was published by BBC on November 21, in which she reported incredibly poor treatment of female staff in particular, including being raped.
A day after US President Donald Trump announced that the US will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror on November 20, the US has unveiled new sanctions against North Korea which it says are designed to stop its funding of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
“As North Korea continues to threaten international peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximise economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on November 21.
Three Chinese companies accused of trading with North Korea — Dandong Kehua Economy and Trade, Dandong Xianghe Trading and Dandong Hongda Trade — are added to the US Treasury’s sanctions list as a result of the decision. Also targeted is the Korea South-South Cooperation Corporation which is alleged to have created revenue for the North by sending workers to countries like Russia, Poland, Cambodia and China.
China did not stay silent on the matter as Air China have “indefinitely suspended” flights between Beijing and Pyongyang. The suspension means North Korea’s Air Koryo is the only airline, which connects the country to China. Its website lists flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Dandong in China and Vladivostok in Russia.