North Korean shot at while defecting to South

US, South Korea start drills in show of force against the North

Moon, Xi mend ties, reaffirm efforts to denuclearize North Korea

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.

The stunning escape occurred Monday at a jointly controlled area that is the only point where soldiers from the two sides face each other in the Demilitarized Zone.

A JCS official quoted by Yonhap news agency said the South's soldiers heard a gunshot and then retrieved the unarmed soldier in the mid-afternoon.

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The soldier took cover behind a South Korean structure within the Joint Security Area (JSA) inside the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas and was later rescued by South Korean and US soldiers at the border, the United Nations Command (UNC) said in a separate statement. A statement released by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 12 said that Xi had reconfirmed China's position on deploying THAAD in South Korea during his meeting with Moon the previous day. Panmunjom is a village situated on the borders of North and South Korea.

The US Embassy in Seoul said it had been made aware about the attempt and was looking into the case.

The number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea in the first two-thirds of this year dropped by 13% compared with 2016.

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He added that South Korean troops did not fire at the North. In Monday's incident, it wasn't known if the North continued firing even after the defector was officially in the southern part of the Joint Security Area.

South Korean forces have identified him only as "A" and said the man arrived in the country on Friday. "Since China has not retracted its official position that THAAD damages its strategic interests, the THAAD issue continues to simmer and could still boil over under the right circumstances", said Lee Hui-ok, director of the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies.

The Joint Security Area was the site of some bloodshed during the Cold War but there hasn't been major violence there in recent years.

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How many North Koreans defect annually?

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