A South Korean conscript soldier who allegedly shot and killed five of his comrades in a grenade and gun attack near the armed border with North Korea suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, an official said this morning.

He is being transferred to a hospital.

"At around 14:55 [6.55am Irish time], Sergeant Lim harmed himself in his side with a K-2 rifle and was sent to the hospital," the military official said.

The weapon refers to the standard issue assault rifle used by the South Korean military.

South Korean troops had cornered the soldier in a densely wooded area.

They were trying to negotiate a peaceful end to a manhunt that started two days earlier with the grenade attack.