North Korea soldier shot while defecting

Three F  A-18E Super Hornets fly in formation over the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Nimitz and their strike groups along with ships from the Republic of Korea Navy as they transit the Western

A North Korean soldier was shot and injured by his own side on Monday while defecting to South Korea at the border truce village of Panmunjom, the South's military said.

"Our military has taken in a North Korean soldier after he crossed from a North Korea post towards our Freedom House", Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement, referring to a building on the South side of the village.

He was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds to his elbow and shoulder, South Korean officials said.

There was no exchange of gunfire between the two sides, but the South's military said it has raised its level of alertness against any North Korean provocations.

The Pacific Fleet held massive joint maritime drills with South Korea off the Korean peninsula's east coast.

"Currently, there are no unusual signs in the North Korean military, but we are increasing alertness against the possibility of North Korean provocations", officials told Yonhap News Agency.

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It's unclear what the soldier's conditions are or why he made a decision to defect to the South.

Meanwhile, three United States aircraft carriers are joining a combined exercise with the South Korean Navy in the East Sea in a show of force against North Korea.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, delivered a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a speech last week before the South Korean National Assembly. CNN reported that two other military members fled separately in June to South Korea.

The drill comes in response to the series of nuclear and missile threats from North Korea and is created to show tyrannical leader Kim Jong-un that any further threats will be repelled with "overwhelming force".

The training comes as Trump concludes his five-country Asia tour, meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday and attending the 50 anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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