Global News

China to send special envoy to North Korea

China to send special envoy to North Korea

North Korea warned at the United Nations on Monday (Nov 13) that the deployment of three USA aircraft carriers in joint navy drills with South Korea was fuelling tensions that could lead to nuclear war.

"But our military is keeping a full readiness posture against the possibility of North Korea's provocations", a military official said in a briefing.

About 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea, mostly via China, since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Hospital officials where under strict security agency orders not to talk to media and all updates on the soldier had to be through the military, workers there told Reuters.

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.

These were the first gunshots fired at the truce village of Panmunjom in 33 years and the first defection of a North Korean soldier since 2007.

A South Korean Defense Ministry official said the three USA carriers held drills on either side of the waters separating the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

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I did not mean to suggest I was taking sides one way or the other on that subject, " he said. Mr Sessions said he would review the requests for a prosecutor "fairly and expeditiously".

Panmunjomis where an armistice was signed to pause the Korean War. In Monday's incident, it wasn't known if the North continued firing after the defector was officially in the southern part of the Joint Security Area. Jointly controlled by the American-led U.N. Command and North Korea, the DMZ is guarded on both sides by hundreds of thousands of combat-ready troops, razor-wire fences and tank traps.

North Korean military personnel are reportedly preparing for their winter training exercises as three USA aircraft carriers lurk near the Korean Peninsula in an unprecedented show of force by Washington's navy.

Ja accused the U.N. Security Council in Monday's letter of repeatedly "turning a blind eye to the nuclear war exercises of the United States, who is hell bent on bringing a catastrophic disaster to humanity".

Tensions have soared between the United States and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. South Korea said the 12 women, and one man, had chosen to defect to the South.

Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, was photographed by North Korean soldiers while he stood inside one of the huts during a visit to the DMZ in March.

Areas around Panmunjom were the site of bloodshed and defection attempts by North Koreans in the past, but there have been no such incidents in recent years.