Soldier-defector is 'window' onto N. Korean life

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Authorities in South Korea have issued a stern warning to their North Korean counterparts over the shooting of its soldier thereby violating an armistice agreement signed by both countries.

"It clearly showed how seriously the United States government views North Korea's nuclear program as the president spent an unusual amount of time discussing the issue", the presidential Blue House's statement said, Reuters reported. At least three or four F-35 stealth aircraft will also participate, South Korean reports said.

The ditch is to the immediate north of the military demarcation line, where the defector abandoned his jeep that had been stuck in a ditch and started running toward the south.

"I'm certain that's the same spot where the soldier defected", Kim Young-woo, chairman of the National Assembly's defense committee in Seoul, said Friday.

South Korea's Yonhap News quoted military officials saying the exercise is being held from December 4-8 and is called Vigilant Ace.

Since the defection, the regime has reportedly replaced all guards stationed at the border.

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"It was obviously part of punishment for failing their mission to deter the North Korean soldier's escape".

A senior USA diplomat urged all nations to work together to denuclearize North Korea, saying the recent defection of a North Korean soldier illustrates the cruelty of that regime.

"This defector's plight is a window onto North Korean life", Brian Hook, director of policy planning and senior policy adviser at the State Department wrote.

'Unfortunately, this is the answer, which North Korea gets in response to its two-month silence'.

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 4, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visiting the March 16 factory at an undisclosed place. Pyongyang has said nothing about the defection, which is a huge embarrassment because Pyongyang claims all defections are the result of Seoul either kidnapping or enticing North Koreans to flee.

According to the report, the planes are to fly to the Korean Peninsula from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan and are expected to stay at an unnamed airbase throughout the duration of the exercise. Hiring North Koreans makes $230 million a year for the North Korean regime, he said.

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