South Korea announced on Nov. 13 that an unnamed soldier defecting from the North was rescued and taken to a hospital after he was found shot in the shoulder and elbow in the border village of Panmunjom.
A dramatic video of the 24-year-old, identified only by his last name, Oh, escaping North Korea, is fascinating to watch.
Officials in South Korea said that the escape took place after the North Korean guard abandoned his post and tried to escape. CNN reported that this was the third defection of a North Korean soldier this year and that there had only been four such defections in the past five years.
South Korean officials added that the soldier was in such a bad spot they needed to crawl to save him. Part of the video shows this.
“The defector was urgently transferred to a hospital in a helicopter of the United Nations Command, and there was no exchange of fire with our side,” a South Korean ministry official told Reuters. “Since it was an area exposed to the North, we had to crawl toward there to get him out.”
It’s not clear at this time how high-ranking the soldier was in Kim Jong-un’s army, but we do know he was in the military for eight years and was a vehicle driver.
The video shows multiple North Korean soldiers firing at Oh. He was shot at least five times.
The lead surgeon in South Korea said Oh is “not going to die” from these wounds, ABC News reported.
ABC News said it appeared North Korea violated the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the U.N., North Korea and China by firing guns across the military demarcation line and by physically crossing the line.