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S. Korea says another infiltrator killed

Search area expanded to track 3 others

September 30, 1996
Web posted at 1:30p.m.(1730GMT)

SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- South Korean troops killed another North Korean Monday in their 12-day-old hunt for infiltrators who came ashore from a submarine, the defense ministry said. The military also announced it was expanding its search for three other North Koreans believed still at large.

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The Defense Ministry said the North Korean was killed in a gun battle 5 kilometers (3 miles) from where the submarine was found stranded off South Korea's east coast September 18.

The shooting brought to 22 the number of North Korean intruders killed or found dead so far. One other was captured.

Shooting their own men

Woods search Five South Korean soldiers also have been killed in the manhunt, including a 21-year-old army sergeant gunned down Sunday by his colleagues, who mistook him for an infiltrator.

The North Korean killed Monday was dressed in civilian clothes and opened fire with a handgun after he was discovered near a corn field, the Seoul government said. He fled and was subsequently shot by southern soldiers, it said.

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The South Korean military was expanding its dragnet Monday out of fear that the missing North Koreans might have slipped past a 60,000-man cordon in place for the past week. The agent shot Monday was caught within the original cordon, but it was highly possible that the North Koreans were trying to return to the north, the ministry said.

Thousands of troops were trucked or airlifted northward Monday to set up a new cordon that will stretch to the sensitive border with North Korea. The border is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from where the submarine was discovered.

Helicopters

U.S. military helicopters and surveillance equipment are being used in the search. But a U.S. military spokesman says no U.S. personnel are actively participating in the ground operations.

North Korea maintains the submarine drifted into Southern waters after developing engine trouble on a training exercise.

But in an announcement Sunday, the South Korean military said an analysis of equipment and belongings seized from the North Koreans showed that they were on a mission to prepare for a larger infiltration operation.

Bureau Chief Sohn Jie-Ae, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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