Soldier shot by North Korean guards while defecting to the South

Increasingly bellicose exchanges between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have put nerves on edge

REUTERS Increasingly bellicose exchanges between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have put nerves on edge

Yonhap News Agency said the soldier sustained gunshot wounds to the elbow and shoulder and was transported to hospital by a helicopter of the United Nations Command, which oversees the armistice on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea supports the Belt and Road Initiative and is willing to actively participate in its implementation, he said, while calling for concerted efforts to resume bilateral high-level exchanges and cooperation in various fields as soon as possible.

A North Korean soldier has defected to South Korea at the heavily protected Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), South Korea's military says.

Seoul's unification ministry said that the level of North Korea's denunciation softened compared with its immediate condemnation back in 2014 when Trump's predecessor Barack Obama visited Seoul.

The defector is now in South Korean military custody, according to the statement.

Seoul says more than 30,000 North Koreans have defected to the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

The defection came at a time of heightened tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, and could escalate animosities between the rival countries.

"With the North Korea situation at an important phase, the role China ought to play is very big", Abe said.

The soldier is reported to have left his North Korean guard post in front of Panmungak, on the border inside the demilitarized zone, and proceeded to move towards Freedom House on the South Korean side.

Joseph Yun, the top United States nuclear envoy, said last month if North Korea halted nuclear and missile testing for about 60 days, it would be the signal indicating that the U.S. needs to resume direct talks with Pyongyang, according to The Washington Post.

This was stated in the office of the President of South Korea, reports Reuters. This makes the area a popular stop for visitors from both sides.

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