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Moon, Xi mend ties, reaffirm efforts to denuclearize North Korea
14 November 2017, 10:32 | Lucia Cruz
US, South Korea start drills in show of force against the North
It's unclear what the soldier's conditions are or why he made a decision to defect to the South.
A North Korean soldier involved in an extremely rare and dramatic defection to the South was shot six times by his own side as he drove to the heavily guarded border and ran across under a hail of bullets.
He was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds to his elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.
He was evacuated to a private hospital by a United Nations helicopter, the official added, saying the soldier had regained consciousness but declining to comment on whether his injuries were life-threatening.
"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.
"But our military is keeping a full readiness posture against the possibility of North Korea's provocations", a military official said in a briefing.
The stunning escape occurred Monday at a jointly controlled area that is the only point where soldiers from the two sides face each other in the Demilitarized Zone.
He is now under questioning by the South´s police, army and spy agency. In September, it carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test - of what it described as "a hydrogen bomb".
There was no immediate comment on the incident from North Korea.
Unlike the rest of the frontier, Panmunjom is not fortified with minefields and barbed wire and the border is marked only by a low concrete divider.
South Korean and US soldiers, fearing more North Korean fire, later crawled to him to rescue him, the United Nations Command said in a separate statement.
During his visit to Seoul last week, Trump warned North Korea he was prepared to use the full range of US military power to stop any attack, but in a more conciliatory appeal than ever before he urged Pyongyang to "make a deal" to end the nuclear standoff. "Just as South Korea stands firm on the comfort women issue and continues to deal with it separately even while seeking to fix relations with Japan, this only means China is using a two-track strategy on THAAD".
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He added that while he's now in good health, he "honest to God" doesn't know if he'll join the race. He told NBC's "Today" show in an interview that he was not yet ready to enter a political contest.
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