South Korean troops today exchanged fire with a runaway soldier who was surrounded in a forest after he killed five comrades near his North Korea border outpost, a defense official tells the AP. One platoon leader was wounded when the sergeant, identified only by his surname Yim, threw a grenade and fired on the military personnel closing in on him, according to a defense ministry official who asked not to be named, citing department rules. The official said troops fired back.
Villagers in a nearby area were warned not to leave their houses. The village head said that he heard gunshots ring out about 10 times today. The military brought Yim's parents to the forest about 6 miles from the border outpost to try to persuade him to give up, the official said. Yim allegedly killed five fellow soldiers and wounded seven others in a shooting yesterday. Well before the shooting the military had designated Yim a "protected and watched-on solider," meaning that it considered him a risk to commit suicide or cause an incident. (Read more Yim stories.)