N.Korean Soldier Flees Through Hail of Bullets

Separately, Suh Wook, a senior JCS official, told lawmakers that Seoul's military believes four North Korean soldiers fired about 40 shots toward the defector, who appeared to have been hit at least five times.

The leaders "shared the view on the need to stably manage the current security condition on the Korean Peninsula in relation to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and agreed to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue", Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said of the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

- What is China's role in the North Korean crisis?

"In the midst of concerns about the rise of protectionism and inward-looking orientation in the world in order to enhance predictability of the economies of the region and the world to mitigate volatilities and to maintain and strengthen the free trading system, the significance of financial cooperation between the ASEAN plus three becomes increasingly greater", Abe said in Japanese.

In a bizarre twist, Monday's successful defection from North Korea came as an American man was arrested in South Korea apparently attempting to go in the other direction.

Speaking to RFA on Friday, Phil Robertson-deputy director of the Asia division at Human Rights Watch-said that China should immediately recognize the detained ten North Koreans as refugees. In 1984, a Soviet tourist sprinted across the demarcation line from North Korea in a bid to defect, prompting a gun battle that killed and wounded several soldiers from both sides.

North Korea has not commented on the incident.

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Speaking by phone to RFA's Korean Service on Thursday, the woman's husband and child's father, using the pseudonym Tae Won Lee, urged his wife not to lose hope while detained.

The ambassador said the United States had reactivated round-the-clock sorties by B-52 strategic bombers and was making frequent flights of B-1B and B-2 bombers in the air space of South Korea.

"He may not be killed if he is returned, but if he is sent to a political prison camp, he may never be able to leave again during his lifetime".

He defected from a North Korean guard post nearby and was being treated in hospital.

In 2013, US citizen Matthew Miller was arrested when he arrived in Pyongyang and reportedly tore up his US passport, demanding asylum in North Korea.

"Nobody knows when and how the 'war maniac' Trump will ignite the 'wick of war, '" the officials said, referring to the presence of the carriers near the peninsula.

Two American soldiers also were killed in the DMZ by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers in a 1976 brawl over an attempt to trim a poplar tree. Two months later, after former US President Bill Clinton met with former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, the two women were pardoned and freed.

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