The U.S. -led United Nations Command, which oversees the South Korean side of the JSA, said the defector drove the jeep near the de facto border line.
The soldier crossed to South Korea from the North Korean side of the heavily guarded Joint Security Area (JSA) to Freedom House in the South, according to the JCS.
He suffered a gunshot wound and is now recovering in a South Korean hospital, the military said. 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.
About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, with most travel through China.
Seo said the North Korean soldier appears to have been shot in five places, adding that he had his first operation on Monday.
"What the president is trying to do right now is recognize that the gravest threat that America faces is North Korea developing nuclear weapons". The JSA is a tense area where South and North Korean soldiers confront each other face-to-face, day after day. The next 10 days will be crucial for his recovery, Lee was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency.
Seo went on to say that at 3:31 p.m., the JCS spotted the North Korean soldier lying in a pile of leaves some 50 meters south of the Military Demarcation Line and at around 3:56 p.m. three South Korean troops approached the North Korean soldier.
Panmunjomis where an armistice was signed to pause the Korean War.
Trump tried to make a surprise visit to the DMZ last week, but his helicopter was forced to turn back to Seoul after heavy fog prevented it from landing at the frontier.
Four North Korean soldiers chased after him, firing at least 40 rounds, including some with an AK-47 assault rifle, officials said Tuesday after reviewing security camera footage from the border.
It wasn't immediately known how serious the soldier's injuries were or why he made a decision to defect. South Korean soldiers did not return fire. The attack prompted Washington to fly nuclear-capable B-52 bombers toward the DMZ in an attempt to intimidate North Korea.