(SEOUL) — South Korea’s military fired 20 rounds of warning shots Thursday as North Korean soldiers approached a borderline after their comrade defected to South Korea, officials said.

South Korean media reported there were sounds of gunfire from the North after South Korea’s warning shots. South Korean defense officials couldn’t immediately confirm the report.

North Korean soldiers have occasionally — and often safely — fled through the land border. Thursday’s defection came nearly 40 days after another North Korean soldier crossed the jointly controlled area at the border, the only places where rival troops are only feet away, amid a barrage of bullets fired by colleagues. He was shot multiple times and remains hospitalized in South Korea.

On Thursday morning, another soldier, whose personal

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