A highly-decorated North Korean soldier on patrol at the de-militarized zone made a stunning dash towards freedom on Monday, bolting across the DMZ while his fellow soldiers opened fire from behind, hitting the defector twice before reaching South Korea.

According to Fox News, the North Korean defector suffered gunshot wounds to his elbow and shoulder, and is currently being treated at a South Korean hospital.

The soldier was found roughly 30 minutes after he made his stunning move across the border.

"He crossed from a North Korea post towards our [South Korean] Freedom,” said a government statement. "Currently, there are no unusual signs in the North Korean military, but we are increasing alertness against the possibility of North Korean provocations.”

Tens of thousands of North Koreans have defected to the south since the end of hostilities during the Korean War, but nearly all migrate through China. Crossing the DMZ is extremely rare as the border is highly fortified on both sides and covered with landmines and barbed wire fencing.

The BBC reports that there have only been four people to successfully cross the DMZ in the last three years.