Next today, we've told you how the demilitarize zone that separates North and South Korea is actually one of the most heavily militarized borders on earth. Our knowledge of life on the north side of that border is limited. The communist North Korean government has strict controls over everything from the media to the military.
But we're learning more about what it's like following the defection, the escape of a North Korean soldier across the border. He was shot several times and lost more than half his blood. He's undergone several surgeries in South Korea and doctors found dozens of parasites inside his body. That may indicate bad hygiene and nutrition in North Korea's military.
Following the soldier's escape and survival, the North is making changes along the DMZ.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were just a few feet behind him. They fired more than 40 bullets but failed to kill or capture him. And tonight, the North Korean soldiers who couldn't keep their comrade from pulling off a dramatic escape last week are facing the fallout.
A South Korean lawmaker tells CNN nearly all the North Korean soldiers present along the border that day have been replaced. Human rights observers say being replaced could be the least of their worries.
What their most likely fate?
GREG SCARLATOIU, COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA: They will be investigated by the military security command, possibly by the state's security department as well, which is the North Korean Gestapo. It is very likely that torture will be involved in the pre-trial investigation, if there is going to be a trial. It's most likely that they will be charged with treason.
TODD: Analysts say the North Korean soldiers dashed across the border with every compelling sequence captured on closed circuit footage was such a humiliation for Kim's regime that the repercussions could be felt among Kim's top generals as well.
SUE TERRY, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I think the fallout will go higher up to a commanding person who were not able to stop from this happening because this is very high profile defection, it's very embarrassing for the Kim regime.
TODD: Experts say the commanders of these units could be sent to labor camps, could be demoted, or sent for reeducation.
Another measure the regime is taking to prevent this from happening again, North Korean workers were seen digging a trench at the spot where the soldier made a run for it.
Meantime, the South Korean soldiers who risked gunfire to crawl to the North Korean and dragged him to safety had been given medals for their bravery.
The 24-year-old at the center of all this is now off life support, his doctors say, is out of the ICU, but is still suffering psychological trauma.
DR. LEE COOK-JONG, DEFECTOR'S SURGEON: Last night, he had a dream that he was kidnapped to North Korea again.
TODD: Dr. Lee Cook-Jong says he's had to reassure the young man that he's safe.