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Newly Released Video Shows North Korean Soldier's Dramatic Escape Across Border
North Korean troops violated the 1953 armistice as they shot over the border and in one case crossed it themselves while chasing a fellow soldier who was making a dash to the South, the United Nations Command said Wednesday.
The allegation came as the UNC released video showing the dramatic defection by the North Korean soldier, who drove a military jeep to the line that divides the peninsula, then ran across it under a barrage of gunfire.
The footage, which was captured by closed-circuit television cameras at the truce village of Panmunjom, shows a vehicle racing on a road until it gets stuck. The defector then jumps out and runs south across a leaf-covered field.
Other North Korean soldiers are seen running from a guard post and the steps of their main reception building in the Joint Security Area, the only point in the Demilitarized Zone where the two sides face each other.
Army Col. Chad Carroll, spokesman for the UNC, said the North Korean army fired across the Military Demarcation Line. He also pointed to a clip he said shows one of the North Koreans briefly crossing the MDL before returning to his side.
“The [North Korean army] violated the armistice,” he said during a press conference at South Korea’s defense ministry, referring to the 1953 truce that ended three years of fighting but left the two Koreas technically in a state of war.
The soldier, who was hit at least five times, was severely wounded by the gunfire during his Nov. 13 defection.
He remains hospitalized but has regained consciousness after a series of operations, a government official was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency.
He asked to watch television, and medical staff reportedly hung a South Korean flag in his room at the Ajou University Hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul.
"For the soldier's psychological comfort, we've shown the patient South Korean movies and he has recovered enough to watch television,” the official said.
South Korean military officials have not yet visited or identified the soldier, Yonhap said.
The UNC had planned to release the video last week but announced Friday it would wait until the investigation was complete.
©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.