If you happened to be looking for concrete examples of North Korea attempting to crush dissent this Monday morning, look no further than this story of a soldier being shot while defecting to South Korea.
South Korea has announced that an unnamed soldier defecting from the North was rescued and taken to a hospital after he was found shot in the shoulder and elbow in the border village of Panmunjom, Reuters reported.
Officials in South Korea are saying that the incident took place Monday after the North Korean guard abandoned his post and tried to escape. CNN reports that this is third defection of a North Korean soldier this year and that there had only been four such defections in the past five years.
South Korean officials would add that the soldier was in such a bad spot they needed to crawl to save him.
“The defector was urgently transferred to hospital in a helicopter of the United Nations Command, and there was no exchange of fire with our side,” a South Korean ministry official told Reuters. “Since it was an area exposed to the North, we had to crawl toward there to get him out.”
It’s not clear at this time how high-ranking the soldier was in the Kim Jong-un’s army or if he is expected to make a full recovery.
The tensions between North and South Korea are well-documented, and North Korea has time and again responded to U.S.-South Korean joint military operations with bluster.
The most recent bluster came from President Donald Trump on Twitter, however, where he slyly joked that he would never call Kim Jong-un “short and fat.”
Here’s how the president responded to being called an “old lunatic”:
“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!” he said.
The war-of-words between two world leaders was officially taken to new heights.
The president made headlines on Monday when he declared the United States’ policy of “strategic patience” on North Korea “over.” Trump made the comments during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.
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“The era of strategic patience is over,” Trump said in regards to his position on North Korea. “Some people said that my rhetoric is very strong, but look what’s happened with very weak rhetoric over the last 25 years. Look where we are now.”
Trump has mentioned U.S. North Korea policy in the time frame of the last 25 years before and said that, unlike his predecessors, he “won’t fail.”
“Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail,” Trump tweeted.
“Rocket Man” is his nickname for Kim Jong-un.