Extraordinary footage has been released of the moment a North Korean soldier manages to escape into South Korea as he is shot at by border guards.
The defector was filmed driving his 4x4 army jeep in a desperate bid to leave Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship as officials chased after him.
When his jeep crashes, he tries to escape on foot, dashing across the border as guards fire at him.
The defector was hit at least four times and was critically wounded.
He was flown by a US military helicopter to a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul.
The incident happened on Monday, November 13.
Doctors announced on Wednesday that he had regained consciousness. He underwent two operations to extract the bullets and his breathing is stable and unassisted, Reuters reports.
“He is fine,” lead surgeon Lee Cook-Jong said at a press conference in Suwon. “He is not going to die.”
An official from the United Nations Command (UNC) said that North Korea was informed on Wednesday that it had violated the 1953 armistice agreement, which marked the cessation of hostilities in the Korean War.
The UNC official told a news conference that a soldier from the North Korean People’s Army (KPA) had crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), the border between the two Koreas, for a few seconds as others fired shots at the defecting soldier.
“The key findings of the special investigation team are that the KPA violated the armistice agreement by one, firing weapons across the MDL, and two, by actually crossing the MDL temporarily,” Chad Carroll, Director of Public Affairs for the UNC, told reporters, Reuters reports.
Pyongyang has not publicly responded to the defection at the sensitive border.