The American-led United Nations Command on Wednesday released dramatic video showing a North Korean soldier escaping across the border into South Korea under gunfire.
CNN's Anna Coren reported on the video, which reveals four North Korean soldiers on Nov. 13 opening fire on a comrade who tried to flee to the South.
The video starts with a lone soldier driving a dark olive-green jeep "down a straight, tree-lined road, past drab, barren fields and, headlights shining, across the replacement for the Bridge of No Return, which was used for prisoner exchanges during the Korean War," the Associated Press reported.
Fellow North Korean soldiers realize that one of their comrades is trying to defect to South Korea and start chasing the jeep through the Korean Demilitarized Zone, or DMV, until the defector crashes and exits the vehicle under fire. He then sprints across the border before hitting the ground in critical condition but alive.
The four soldiers unloaded an estimated 40 rounds from multiple types of firearms.
The defector—a 24-year-old soldier surnamed Oh, according to CNN—was taken to a South Korean hospital in critical condition from the gunshot wounds and lost nearly half of his blood. Oh's surgeon, Lee Cook-jong, said that he found four major wounds on the soldier, who received four pints of blood.
The soldier underwent multiple surgeries to repair damage, and in doing so, surgeons found dozens of parasites including a 10.6-inch roundworm, possibly indicating improper nutrition in North Korea's military.
"His condition has become much better since yesterday. We've turned on the TV for him since yesterday," Lee told reporters.
During the escape, North Korea violated the Korean War armistice by firing across the DMZ, according to the U.N. Command, which oversees the 1953 ceasefire agreement.
U.S. Col. Chad Carroll, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Korea, also told reporters that North Korea violated the armistice when a North Korean soldier crossed the military demarcation line.