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.
Military says member of ISIL-linked group died after bomb he was carrying exploded during pursuit in troubled Basilan
Last week senior Chinese military official Guan Youfei met with Syria's defence minister in Damascus and said he wanted closer military ties with the Syrian government, state media reported.
Under investigation for misuse of funds including $433,800 office redecoration, $1 million New Year's light show
Police say ‘no immediate evidence to suggest extremism’ after French man charged with killing British woman in Queensland
Officials say oil-laden tanker that went missing from Malaysian port was taken by crew after ‘internal management dispute’
Ten-hour Taliban assault in Kabul sees seven students at prestigious college killed
Kim Jong-un says launch shows North Korea has joined military powers ‘fully equipped with nuclear attack capability’
Lawmaker representing worst-hit township says death toll has risen to 68, despite claims situation ‘under control’
Despite the challenge it presents many Asian Muslims have taken up the idea of biking to Saudi Arabia
Man killed as two-day visit to restive region by India's home minister so far fails to dampen protests
Businesswoman seized alongside her husband and 8-year-old son, who have not been released
Negotiators for government, communist insurgency re-affirm past deals, agree to accelerate peace talks
Foreign ministers pledge to cooperate in dealing with Pyongyang during trilateral talks, rather than discussing disputes
Local police consider bombing, which occurred 2 weeks after series of blasts shook upper regions, to be work of insurgents
Suu Kyi says commission, chaired by Kofi Annan, to be formed to resolve problems in troubled state home to Rohingya Muslims
A submarine launched missile has been fired by North Korea after tens of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops kicked off their annual “Ulchi Freedom” military exercise on Monday.