Korea gauging proper timing for planned aid to N. Korea

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According to South Korea's Ministry of Defense, a 58-year-old man from Louisiana entered a controlled area in Yeoncheon County, on the border with North Korea, early Monday morning.

The soldier was taken to a hospital after being shot by the North Korean side and injured, it said.

It said there was no exchange of gunfire between the two sides in 250-kilometer-long, 4-km-wide DMZ, which is fortified with land mines, fences and guard posts.

"He crossed from a North Korea post towards our Freedom House [a building on the South Korean side of the border]", the statement said.

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North Korea and South Korea have been in a technical war since the conflict of 1950-53 ended with an armistice.

It's unclear what the soldier's conditions are or why he chose to defect to the South.

South Korean guards, who were alerted by gunshots, found the North Korean soldier about 55 yards south of Panmunjom, the New York Times reported.

The rare defection took place as a joint naval exercise, which included three American aircraft carriers and seven South Korean warships, was being carried out in waters off South Korea's east coast.

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As part of his continuing tour of Asia, Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Monday in Manila to discuss the situation in North Korea. This year, North Korean defectors successfully escaping the regime fell by 12.7 percent, according to the Telegraph.

About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, with most travel through China. In 1998, a North Korean solider fled to South Korea via Panmunjom.

The presence of the three-carrier flotilla in Pacific waters is seen as a signal to North Korea that the U.S. will not be intimidated by Pyongyang's continued testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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