The U.S.-led United Nations Command has repatriated a North Korean soldier rescued at sea by South Korea's navy.
The command said the army sergeant was handed over to the North at the border village of Panmunjom on Wednesday.
It said the soldier affirmed his desire to return to the North during interviews with the command and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission.
The village is jointly overseen by the U.N. Command and North Korea _ an arrangement established in 1953 to supervise the cease-fire that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
The repatriation came weeks after a bloody naval clash near the disputed western sea border between the two Koreas, which South Korea said killed one North Korean sailor and wounded three others.