'Enormous parasites' found in N Korean defector's body

Nichole Vega
November 18, 2017

Tensions between the United States (US) and North Korea worsened after Pyongyang tested its nuclear weapons in recent weeks in a bid to advance its ultimate goal to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

A North Korean soldier shot multiple times while defecting to the South is in a stable condition but riddled with parasites that could complicate his chances of survival, his doctor said on Thursday.

Dr Lee added: "I've never seen anything like this in my 20 years as a physician". The operations involved removing a bullet lodged in the abdominal wall and managing the "enormous number" of parasites including roundworms in his gut, the longest of which was was 27 centimeters (11 inches).

Mr Trump wouldwill announce next week whether the U.S. will return North Korea to a list of state sponsors of terrorism, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

He is believed to be an army staff sergeant in his mid-20s who was stationed in the Joint Security Area in the United Nations truce village of Panmunjom, said Kim Byung-kee from South Korea's ruling Democratic party. It said these appeared larger than those for North Korea's Romeo-class attack submarine. Inside the soldier's gut, they also found corn, a staple grain of the North Korean diet.

The hospital that treated him said he had been shot in his buttocks, armpit, back, shoulder and knee, and sustained other wounds.

Doan Thi Huong
Doan Thi Huong

Parasites are reportedly widespread in North Korea and can often be the result of consuming vegetables fertilised with human faeces.

Lee Min-bok, a North Korean agriculture expert, said: "Chemical fertiliser was supplied by the state until the 1970s, but from the early 1980s, production started to decrease". Use of the corn found in his stomach, which is cheaper than rice but less popular, has increased in years when North Koreans are more anxious about harvests.

"China is sending an envoy and delegation to North Korea - A big move, we'll see what happens!" A study in 2009 found preschool children in the North were up to 13cm shorter and up to 7kg lighter than those brought up in the South.

In August, North Korea fired ballistic missiles that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific waters off the northern region of Hokkaido.

Parasites can enter the body in a number of ways - such as insect bites - but it is believed that many people in North Korea are likely to be infected as a result of contaminated food.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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