A North Korean soldier was shot by his former comrades while defecting to South Korea across the demilitarized zone, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement Monday.

The wounded soldier was evacuated from the site for emergency medical attention in the South, the statement said, after defecting from a North Korean guard post at the Joint Security Area (JSA) on the heavily-guarded border between the two countries.

The soldier is reported to have left the North Korean guard post in front of Panmungak, on the border inside the demilitarized zone, and proceeded to move towards Freedom House on the South Korean side.

View from North Korea side of the Demilitarized Zone earlier this year, at Panmungak, looking towards Freedom House.