North Korea says Trump's terror sponsor label is a 'serious provocation'

Hwang Pyong So is the latest to fall victim to a purge by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un who analysts say is rebalancing power away from the military

A South Korean hospital says a North Korean soldier who was shot by his comrades while fleeing to the South has regained consciousness and is enjoying American movies and South Korean pop songs on television.

A CCTV footage shows a vehicle carrying a North Korean soldier during a United Nations Command (UNC) briefing on the investigation results of the soldierÕs defection, at the South Korean defence ministry in Seoul in this still image taken from a Reuters TV video, November 22, 2017.

Four North Korean soldiers, weapons in their hands, race by the blue huts that straddle the line and are familiar to anyone who has toured the only spot on the border where North and South Korean soldiers face off within spitting distance of each other. South Korean soldiers then crawl up to the defector, who has fallen injured in a mass of leaves against a small wall.

The defecting soldier, whose rank and identity have not been disclosed, was critically wounded, having been hit five or six times in the hail of bullets as he made his desperate escape on Nov.13. Three North Korean soldiers and one South Korean soldier were killed.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to the move as part of the "peaceful pressure" campaign, noting it was in line with Mr Trump's "maximum pressure" programme to get countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, and South Sudan to cut off Pyongyang financially as well. Dangdong is a Chinese city bordering North Korea.

North Korea's actions during the defector's November 13 escape at Panmunjom violated the armistice agreement ending the 1950-53 Korean War because North Korean soldiers fired across and physically crossed the border in pursuit of the soldier, US Colonel Chad G Carroll, a spokesman for the United Nations command, told reporters in a live TV briefing.

The gargantuan Kim Jong-un inspects a tractor factory last week
The gargantuan Kim Jong-un inspects a tractor factory last week

CCTV released by United Nation Command shows the man racing a military jeep into the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom, where soldiers from the South and North watch each other just metres apart.

The escape is a scene of hope: A North Korean defies all odds in search of a better life.

North Korea has called U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to relist the country as a state sponsor of terrorism a "serious provocation" that justifies its development of nuclear weapons. A multinational UNC commission reportedly conducted a "thorough investigation", in which it found North Korea and breached the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War conflict.

He underwent two rounds of surgeries to fix internal organ damage and other injuries.

"The patient is clearly conscious", Lee Cook-jong, the surgeon treating him, told Yonhap News in a press briefing.

"This is a violation of the armistice agreement", a South Korean military official said in the Korea JoonAng Daily.

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