A defector’s parasites and diet expose North Korea’s malnourished world
Seoul — Parasitic worms found in a North Korean soldier, critically injured during a desperate defection, highlight nutrition and hygiene problems that experts say have plagued the isolated country for decades. At a briefing on Wednesday, lead surgeon Lee Cook-jong displayed photos showing dozens of flesh-coloured parasites — including one 27cm long — removed from the wounded soldier’s digestive tract during a series of surgeries to save his life. "In my more-than 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook," Lee said. The parasites, along with kernels of corn in his stomach, may confirm what many experts and previous defectors have described about the food and hygiene situation for many North Koreans. "Although we do not have solid figures showing health conditions of North Korea, medical experts assume that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in the country," said Choi Min-Ho, a professor at Seoul Natio...
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