At UN, North Korea says USA to blame for 'worst ever situation'

3 US Navy aircraft carriers operate off Korean Peninsula

If it sounds like an unusual event, that's because it is: A North Korea solider was shot and wounded in the demilitarized zone Monday afternoon while trying to defect to the South.

"The government has kept the stance (over the need to support those in need in North Korea) on humanitarian grounds, but it also takes into account various factors for the provision of the aid at an appropriate time", said an official at Seoul's unification ministry. The unidentified North Korean, who is an enlisted soldier, was flown by a UN Command helicopter to a South Korean hospital for treatment.

Over the decades since the peninsula was divided, dozens of North Korean soldiers have fled to the South through the DMZ, which extends for two kilometers either side of the actual borderline. The exercises would begin in December, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

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

Three U.S. aircraft carriers steam in formation in the East Sea, leading South Korean and U.S. warships during the allies' joint naval exercise on November 12, 2017, in this photo provided by South Korea's Navy.

The four-day maneuvers, which will end Tuesday, are known to include a simulated precision attack on mock North Korean facilities.

File image of a North Korean soldier, centre top, looks at the southern side as South Korean soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom.

Relations between the two sides have been tense for months, as the North stepped up its missile tests. The attack prompted Washington to fly nuclear-capable B-52 bombers toward the DMZ in an attempt to intimidate North Korea.

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.

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