US nuclear war equipment deployed ready to strike, North Korea tells UN

He suffered gunshot wounds to his elbow and shoulder and was taken to the hospital when South Korean soldiers found him about 25 minutes later on the southern side of the Joint Security Area, a strip of land where North and South Korean forces stand face-to-face, the military said, according to the South's Yonhap News Agency.

Panmunjom, once an obscure farming village inside the 2 1/2-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas, is where an armistice was signed to pause the Korean War.

He noted that it was most likely that the North Korean leader would only be willing to negotiate after conducting another missile test of the kind that has shaken the world this year.

News about the North's manoeuvres has emerged at a time when three of the US Navy's aircraft carriers - USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz - are holding maritime exercises in the region.

On Monday, he first drove a military jeep but left the vehicle when one of its wheels fell into a ditch. South Korean soldiers did not return fire.

The North Korean ambassador accused the council of "turning a blind eye to the nuclear war exercises of the United States who is hell bent on bringing a catastrophic disaster to humanity".

It said an investigation into Monday's event was ongoing.

The four-day simulated exercises, which will go on until Tuesday, 14 November, will include participation from South Korean naval forces as well. The last time three US carrier strike groups exercised together in the Western Pacific was in 2007.

Seoul has also placed its army in full combat readiness in order to tackle any form of provocation by the North.

Ja said Monday the U.S. "is now running amok for war exercises by introducing nuclear war equipment in and around the Korean peninsula, thereby proving that the U.S. itself is the major offender of the escalation of tension and undermining of the peace".

The area is a popular place for tourists and visiting officials, not least because once inside the blue meeting huts that straddle the border, visitors can technically cross the line, although soldiers guard the doors out to the other side.

Two American soldiers also were killed in the DMZ by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers in a 1976 brawl over an attempt to trim a poplar tree.

It's the same border area which was visited by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis less than a month ago. That prompted Washington to send nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to intimidate the North before the adversaries pulled back from the brink of conflict.

  • Gilberto Valderrama