North Korean defector had 27cm parasitic worm in his stomach

A North Korean soldier who escaped through the NK-SK border earlier this week was found to have severe nutrition and hygiene issues, providing proof that food is scarce even among the more elite military personnel. Read more in this Guardian article.

Parasitic worms have been found in a North Korean soldier critically injured while defecting to South Korea, highlighting nutrition and hygiene problems that observers believe have plagued the isolated country for decades.

Dozens of flesh-coloured parasites, one of which was 27cm (11 inches) long, were found in the man’s digestive tract during life-saving operations, according to the lead surgeon, Lee Cook-jong.

“In my over-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, appear to confirm what many experts and defectors have said about the food and hygiene situation for many North Koreans.

Read the full article here.

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