The soldier, whose rank and identity have not been disclosed, was flown by helicopter to hospital on Monday after his escape to South Korea, during which he was sacked on by four North Korean soldiers.
American presidents often visit Panmunjom and other DMZ areas during their trips to South Korea to reaffirm their security commitment to the South. President Donald Trump planned to visit the DMZ to underscore his stance against North Korea's nuclear program when he came to South Korea last week as part of an Asian tour, but his plans were thwarted by heavy fog that prevented his helicopter from landing at the border area. The moment they crossed the line, a shooting match erupted and Matuzok was forgotten as the rival troops engaged on the South side of the border.
Seo said the North Korean soldier appears to have been shot in five places, adding that he had his first operation on Monday.
It was the first shooting in the Joint Security Area since 1984, but USA and South Korean forces did not return fire.
The most famous incident was in 1976, when two American army officers were killed by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers.
North Korean soldiers shot at the unidentified North Korean soldier when he ran from the guard post at the northern side of the village, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
A South Korean Defense Ministry official said the three U.S. carriers held drills on either side of the waters separating the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
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He was unconscious and in critical condition on Tuesday, the surgeon in charge of the soldier's treatment, Lee Cook-jong, told reporters. "We closely monitored the situation with a surveillance system", he said. The next 10 days will be crucial for his recovery, Lee was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency.
"But our military is keeping a full readiness posture against the possibility of North Korea's provocations", a military official said in a briefing.
The DMZ is a 2.5-mile wide, 150-mile-long buffer zone lined with barbed wire and dotted with landmines.
The 1953 armistice that ended the fighting but left the countries technically at war was signed in one of the blue buildings that straddle the Military Demarcation Line.
Violence has broken out in the area in the past. Seo said that shortly after, one North Korean soldier was seen crossing toward the South on a jeep.
The soldier suffered gunshot wounds to his shoulder and elbow, as well as a serious wound to his stomach. The attack prompted Washington to fly nuclear-capable B-52 bombers toward the DMZ in an attempt to intimidate North Korea.
Monday was the first time since 2007 a North Korean soldier had defected across the JSA.