(WFLA) — Video released Wednesday by the U.N. Command shows a soldier’s desperate escape from North Korea.
The 24-year-old, who was identified as “Oh,” was hit by at least five bullets during his mad dash across the country’s demilitarized zone (DMZ), CNN reports.
In the video, a jeep is seen speeding down a tree-lined street on the North Korean side of the DMZ. The jeep crosses a bridge and approaches a monument of North Korea’s founding father, Kim Il Sung, which is located in the Joint Security Area (JSA) or “Truce Village”, the only portion of the DMZ where North and South Korean forces stand face-to-face.
There he is pursued by North Korean soldiers and abandons the jeep and takes off on foot.
Four soldiers chase him across the border, one of which briefly crosses the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).
CNN reports the defector was shot at at least 40 times before reaching safety.
The video did not show the moment he was hit by bullets, but he is seen lying in a pile of brush next to a concrete wall.
Infrared imagery shows two South Korean soldiers drag the defector to safety.
He was airlifted to the Ajou University Hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries. Officials said he lost more than 50 percent of his blood by the time he arrived.
On Friday, officials said he had an infestation of worms in his body, contaminating his wounds and worsening his situation. He regained consciousness on Tuesday.
According to BBC News, nearly 1,000 people flee North Korea each year, but very few cross the DMZ and hardly anyone crosses the JSA.
The UN says by firing across the border last week, North Korean troops violated a truce that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Now it’s demanding a meeting to discuss how to prevent future violations from occurring.
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