Seoul How bad the living conditions in North Korea are, this week turned out to be a lost soldier.
Last Monday he managed to flee to South Korea via the demilitarized zone. The sergeant was hit by five bullets, but could be saved on the operating table. Surgeon Lee Cook-jong discovered to his dismay that the soldier had dozens of flesh-colored parasites in his intestines. The longest was 27 centimeters. 'In my twenty years of working as a surgeon, I've read something like that in textbooks,' says Lee in The Guardian.
In addition to parasites, he also had corn kernels in his stomach. Many North Koreans eat corn more often than rice from poverty.
'The state the man was in is not a surprise,' said Professor Choi Min-ho of the University of Seoul. 'Although we do not have any concrete figures about the health situation in North Korea, medical experts assume that parasitic infections and severe health problems are plaguing the country. '
Adults in the north are on average thirteen centimeters smaller and seven kilos lighter than people in the south.