North Korean Defector had 10-Inch Parasite in His Stomach, Unlike Anything Surgeon Had Seen Before


An skilled South Korean surgeon working on a defector from North Korea has described his shock upon discovering dozens of bizarre parasites inside the person’s abdomen, suggesting widespread well being points among the many inhabitants of the secretive state.

The affected person, who has not been named, was critically injured as he fled North Korea below a hail of bullets fired from his former comrades via the Joint Security Area (JSA) on the demilitarized zone (DMZ) border space between the 2 nations on Monday. Doctor Lee Guk-jong has now operated twice on the person to deal with his accidents, with the presence of parasites including problems to the surgical procedure.

“We are struggling with treatment as we found a large number of parasites in the soldier’s stomach, invading and eating into the wounded areas,” Lee mentioned at a press briefing following a three-and-a-half-hour operation on Wednesday, quoted within the Korea Biomedical Review

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The physician described the affected person as been 5 toes 5 inches tall and weighing 132 kilos, suggesting he might endure from malnutrition.

Among the parasites was a species of roundworm that may be contracted by consuming greens fertilized with human faeces or, extra typically, in areas with poor sanitation. The longest parasite discovered within the North Korean troopers’ abdomen measured 27 centimetres (10 inches), native media reported. Experts say that many North Koreans could possibly be contaminated with the identical sort of parasites.

“I have been doing surgery for more than 20 years, but I have not seen such parasites. I will not be able to find them in [South] Korea,” mentioned Lee, who’s a revered trauma specialist within the nation. He beforehand efficiently handled the captain of the South Korean chemical freighter Samho Jewelry who was shot six instances when his vessel was seized by Somali pirates in 2011.

11_15_Defector_Hospital A South Korean soldier talks with a surgeon at a hospital the place a North Korean soldier who defected to the South after being shot and wounded by the North Korean navy is hospitalized, in Suwon, South Korea, November 13, 2017. Hong Ki-won/Yonhap/through Reuters

The stomach wounds had been solely a few of the accidents suffered by the North Korean soldier, who was additionally hit on his elbow, shoulder and chest space and has not but absolutely regained consciousness. According to Lee, it was solely because of the U.S. air medics making use of first help remedy whereas he was being airlifted on a Black Hawk helicopter that the person remains to be alive.

The approach used to evacuate the soldier from the JSA to the specialised trauma middle on the Ajou University Hospital south of Seoul, is named MEDEVAC or “Dust Off,” an acronym for “Dedicated Unhesitating Service To Our Fighting Forces.” First devised to rescue troopers in Vietnam in 1962, U.S. forces nonetheless commonly apply these air casualty evacuations.

The North Korean defector’s identification has not but been publicly disclosed. The South Korean intelligence company recognized him as a person in his 20s holding the rank of employees sergeant, in line with lawmaker Kim Byung-kee, who attended a closed-door briefing, quoted in the Korea Herald

The United Nations Command, which supervises the implementation of the 1953 Korean War armistice alongside the 151-mile lengthy DMZ, agreed to launch CCTV footage of the soldier’s escape, which was described as “movie-like” by some lawmakers who had been briefed on the incident on Tuesday.

But officers from the South Korean Ministry of Defense blocked launch of the 26-second clip on Thursday, citing considerations that the video would spark hypothesis over the South Korean troops’ dealing with of the occasion. The officers advised releasing an extended video, information company Yonhap reported.

Reports of the incident recommend that North Korean troopers, who had been chasing after the defector, fired at him even after he crossed the border line into South Korea. Firing in direction of the South Korean aspect of the border could be violating one of many phrases of the armistice, sparking a debate in South Korea over the principles of engagement within the area.

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