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South Korea Says North Korean Soldier Defects to South 


FILE - In this March 12, 2014 photo, a North Korean soldier, center top, looks at the southern side as three South Korean soldiers guard at the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea.

South Korea's military says a North Korean soldier has fled across the countries' heavily fortified border to defect to the South.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff says South Korean soldiers escorted the defector to safety early Saturday after finding him moving south of the eastern side of the military demarcation line that bisects the Koreas.

The defection comes as the North and South Korean militaries push to reduce tensions across their border.

South Korea's Defense Ministry says the Korean militaries completed removing 20 front-line guard posts and land mines from a border area where they plan to start their first-ever joint search for remains of soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

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