World Bulletin/News Desk
A North Korean soldier killed two of his officers before crossing the heavily mined border into South Korea on Saturday, South Korea's defence ministry and media reports said.
Defections across the Demilitarized Zone, a buffer zone dividing the two Koreas, are rare as the 250 km-long (155 miles) land border is heavily armed and tightly guarded.
A defence ministry official confirmed a North Korean had defected across the land border, but provided no further details.
Local media quoted a statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying the North Korean soldier crossed the western section of the border at around noon.
The North Korean claimed that he shot dead his platoon and squad chiefs while on guard duty shortly before his border crossing, according to the reports.
The unnamed defector was being questioned by authorities.
The JCS statement was not available immediately.
Hundreds of North Koreans flee each year across its northern border with China and most make their way to the South, with more than 20,000 having found refuge in the wealthy capitalist neighbour.
Most cite economic hardship and political persecution as the main reasons for leaving home.
The two Koreas are still technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended only with a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.
Philippines president outlines injustice suffered by Muslim community during inaugural State of Nation address
As was the case during 2015 executions, policing tightened around Nusakambangan island and prison visits banned
Former employee of facility for disabled people reported to have turned himself in to police after attack
Nepali police arrest protesters involved in shutdown called as Nepali political crisis deepens
Cambodia responsible for days of deadlock, after it objected to Philippines' request for communique to include Hague ruling
Almost a third of Afghan casualties were children in worst violence since counting began in 2009
Businessmen close to Razak accused of channelling funds from state wealth fund to buy assets in US
At least 130 people dead, 110 missing in northern Hebei; residents say were not informed of threats or evacuated in time
Beijing’s foreign minister complains to his Seoul counterpart that their bilateral 'trust' has been ‘undermined’
Nepal PM resigns after key coalition partner withdraws following almost a year of political tension
Authorities say 34 Indonesian illegal immigrants rescued off southern Johor state, rescue operations ongoing
Well-known political analyst Kem Ley shot dead while drinking his morning coffee at convenience store in capital
Media and watchdog groups had been demanding the reform, the first national freedom of information order, for years.
Fears that targeting of Shia Hazara community could worsen sectarian violence in Afghanistan
A double suicide attack has killed at least 80 people with ISIL claiming responsibility for the attack
2 explosions rip through 1,000-people protest against power line plan in Kabul, Afghanistan