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North Korean Soldier Is Shot While Defecting Across DMZ, South Says

14 November 2017

North Korea complained to the United Nations on Monday about joint military exercises by the United State and South Korea, describing it as "the worst ever situation" because U.S. nuclear war equipment had been deployed ready to strike.

"But our military is keeping a full readiness posture against the possibility of North Korea's provocations", a military official said in a briefing.

View of a South Korean flagpole from Dora Observatory near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing two Koreas, October 13, 2017.

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.

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North Korea's military is beginning winter drills.

It's unclear what the soldier's conditions are or why he made a decision to defect to the South.

Trump's Asia trip ends Tuesday and he has said he'll make a "major" announcement regarding North Korea and trade at the White House on Wednesday.

File image of a North Korean soldier, centre top, looks at the southern side as South Korean soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom.

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The man, identified only as a 58-year-old from Louisiana, had arrived in South Korea last week and wanted to enter the North for "political purposes", but was reported by a local villager, Yonhap said. The majority of defectors travel through China to defect to South Korea, according to Reuters.

About 1,000 people from the North flee to the South each year - but very few defect via the DMZ.

South Korea and the United States were also conducting joint military drills in the East Sea utilizing three USA aircraft carriers.

North Korea has this year been boosting its nuclear and missile capacity with a series of tests as it faces off with U.S. President Donald Trump who has vowed to stop it from being able to hit the mainland United States with a nuclear weapon.

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North Korean Soldier Is Shot While Defecting Across DMZ, South Says