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North Korea might have violated the armistice with the US and South Korea by shooting AK-47s at a fleeing defector

North Korean soldiers (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)
November 17, 2017

  • North Korea may have violated the armistice with the US and South Korea by firing an AK-47 assault rifle in the DMZ.
  • South Korea contends North Korea broke the armistice, but has little recourse.
  • North Korea has killed countless South Koreans since the armistice went into effect in 1953, and there’s not much that can be done about it.

The Korean war of the early 1950s did not end with a peace treaty, but an armistice, and now North Korea has reportedly violated it by firing AK-47 assault rifles in the demilitarized border zone separating the country from South Korea.

North Korean soldiers opened fire spraying 40 or so bullets at one of their own as he ran across the border into South Korea. The defector sustained five bullet wounds and remains in critical condition.

At least one of the soldiers opened fire with an AK-47, a violation of the armistice, South Korean military sources told Korea JoonAng Daily.

“This is a violation of the armistice agreement,” a South Korean military official said. “We plan to lodge a serious protest against North Korea through the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission [UNCMAC].”

UNCMAC supervises the armistice agreement, but has no power to enforce violations. North Korea does not recognize the body, and has gotten away with countless provocations during the armistice that’s lasted over six decades.

South Korean soldiers did not fire back at the North Koreans. The UNCMAC intended to make public a video of the border crossing, but changed its mind on Thursday, not wanting to cause unnecessary speculation on what happened, according to Yonhap News.

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