American detained trying to enter North Korea

American detained trying to enter North Korea

North Korean soldiers have occasionally defected to South across the border, but it's rare for a North Korean soldier to defect via the Joint Security Area. Internal organ damage is so severe that it will take two or three days to find out whether he can survive an operation.

He added that South Korean troops did not fire at the North.

The 2.5-mile-wide strip between North and South Korea, which President Bill Clinton once called "the scariest place on Earth", has kept the two states separate since the Korean War ended in 1953 in an armistice and without a peace treaty.

A North Korean defector has been shot and wounded by his own side after he tried to cross the heavily guarded border into the South.

"He crossed from a North Korea post towards our [South Korean] Freedom House", the South said in a statement.

Roh said no South Korean or US soldiers were wounded during the incident and the defense ministry official said North Korea's military was not showing any unusual movements on Tuesday.

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The incident, which happened in broad daylight around 4:00pm, comes at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula over the North's nuclear weapons programme.

"I am very glad to see you again after four months", Moon said at the start of their bilateral summit held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting here in the Vietnamese city.

There was no exchange of gunfire between the two sides, but the South's military said it has raised its level of alertness against any North Korean provocations.

Suh said the South had also informed the North on Monday of the soldier and his treatment, via loudspeakers on the border. From January to August 2017, 780 North Koreans escaped to South Korea, according to officials in Seoul.

The defection came during escalated tensions between the North and the South and almost a week after President Trump visited Seoul for his five-country Asia tour. In September the North carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, of what it described as a hydrogen bomb. South Korea said the 12 women, and one man, had chosen to defect to the South.

The Associated Press contribute to this report.

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