World Bulletin / News Desk
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed the apparently low-ranking soldier presented himself at a guard post on the South Korean side just after 8 a.m. (23:00 WED GMT).
The South fired warning shots as North Korean border guards were spotted searching for their comrade, while the North responded later in the morning with its own gunfire.
No injuries were reported but Seoul had been pushing to reduce tensions with just 50 days until the South Korean venue of PyeongChang hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Thursday’s escape comes less than a month after another North Korean soldier was left seriously injured by his own colleagues when he also fled to the South.
Most of the tens of thousands of defectors from the North have escaped via China before making their way to South Korea or elsewhere, but direct defections have spiked this year amid stronger sanctions against Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, Seoul’s Unification Ministry announced that a pair of North Koreans managed to reach the South aboard a boat in waters east of the peninsula a day earlier.
South Korea’s policy is to welcome refugees from the North after a period of investigation and acclimatization to life in a capitalist society.
Republican Turkish Party wins 10 of 28 total municipalities in local elections
Over 190,000 voters across 6 districts will vote for 28 municipalities and 280 members of the city council
Two leaders announce they will form new government
The attack targeted a meeting of ISIL leaders in the eastern Deir Ez Zour province
Official results of Iraq’s parliamentary election have been dogged by controversy and allegations of vote-rigging
Threat comes after EU announced 25 percent tariff on US products
Armed terrorists ‘neutralized’ in northern Iraqi region of Gara
Palestinians have been holding mass rallies near Gaza-Israel security fence since March 30
Police report states driver of car that killed pedestrian in Arizona was streaming television show
Decision follows Trump's pledge to end “war games” during Singapore summit
Conservative bill was widely expected to fail in the chamber
Washington urges Moscow to reign in ally amid offensive in de-escalation zone
‘Koko touched lives of millions as an icon for interspecies communication and empathy’, Gorilla Foundation says
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says they will look into strengthening transatlantic bond in summit next month
Administration to no longer require immediate legal proceedings for undocumented adults who cross illegally with children