The U.S.-led United Nations Command said Wednesday that North Korea violated an armistice agreement last week, releasing dramatic video footage showing a North Korean soldier crossing the Military Demarcation Line dividing the two Koreas in pursuit of a defector.
The command said North Korea also breached the agreement, which halted the 1950-1953 Korean War, by firing across the demarcation line as the defector fled to South Korea at the truce village of Panmunjeom on Nov. 13.
Earlier Wednesday, the command requested a meeting with the North Korean military to discuss the armistice violation, Col. Chad Carroll, a spokesman for U.S. Forces in South Korea, said during a press briefing.
At the meeting, the command hopes to deliver the findings of its investigation into the incident and discuss ways to prevent a similar violation of the armistice, he said.
The defection by the North Korean soldier occurred in the afternoon of Nov. 13 in the Joint Security Area, a small strip of land at the truce village where troops from both sides stand face-to-face.
In the footage released by the command, the defector is seen driving a vehicle toward the South Korean side, exiting the vehicle and running across the demarcation line while North Korean soldiers shot at him. One of the soldiers was then seen briefly crossing the border before retreating after several seconds.
The soldier was transported by helicopter to a hospital after being found bleeding from gunshot wounds some 50 meters south of the demarcation line. He has since regained consciousness, a doctor treating the patient said at a news conference on Wednesday.
The armistice agreement was signed at Panmunjeom in 1953.