US envoy on N. Korean nukes to visit S. Korea this week

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Suh Wook, chief director of operations for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers that North Korea fired a total of about 40 rounds in a shooting that his office suggested started while the soldier was in the jeep.

The soldier is being treated at a South Korean hospital after a five-hour operation for the gunshot wounds he suffered during his escape across the Joint Security Area.

The Unification Ministry said North Korean soldiers also defected across the JSA in 2007 and 1998, but military officials said no shooting occurred during those incidents.

Trump tweeted soon after making the speech that Korea's leadership "won't be around much longer" if it continued its provocations, a declaration that led the North's foreign minister to assert that Trump had "declared war on our country". "I'm angry at the world", said Lee.

"There's no big message" intended for North Korea or anyone else, he told reporters in an impromptu exchange in a Pentagon hallway.

The move is considered highly unusual as even defectors from the North rarely cross directly over the border - usually crossing into China first before heading to Seoul - and South Korea's National Intelligence, army and police have launched a joint investigation.

The president responded sarcastically in a tweet Saturday, writing, "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old, ' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!" While both sides of the DMZ are guarded by barbed wire fences, mines and tank traps, the JSA includes the truce village of Panmunjom which provides the site for rare talks and draws curious tourists.

The soldier had defected from a North Korean guard post nearby.

It's the same border area which was visited by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis less than a month ago.

"The large scale nuclear war exercises and blackmails. make one conclude that the option we have taken was the right one and we should go along the way to the last", wrote Ja.

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.

South Korea's military said it has strengthened its vigilance and readiness posture in case of a possible military provocation by the North. "Someone would steal food because they were hungry and they would be beaten to death. of 3,000 inmates on average, about three a day would die". Mr. Liu made no headway then in curbing the North's nuclear weapons expansion.

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