Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

North Korea defector said to have 'enormous number of parasites'

North Korea defector said to have 'enormous number of parasites'

Hyundai Group kicks off the Mount Kumgang tour project by sending a luxury cruise ship from the South Korean port of Donghae to a port at the scenic mountain on North Korea's east coast.

"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 said at a press briefing following a three-and-a-half-hour operation on Wednesday, quoted in the Korea Biomedical Review.

North Korea staged its sixth nuclear test on September 3, detonating what it said was a hydrogen bomb, and most recently launched a ballistic missile on September 15, firing it over the Japanese island of Hokkaido into the Pacific Ocean.

The continued tensions between North and South Korea are well documented, and the joint military relationship between the USA and South, have only increased in recent years.

The Korean war of the early 1950s did not end with a peace treaty, but an armistice, and now North Korea has reportedly violated it by firing AK-47 assault rifles in the demilitarized border zone separating the country from South Korea.

"We're going to consult with the UNC to allow South Korea to return fire immediately when there is a gunshot from North Korea and there is a sign that a North Korean solider would bring harm to our forces", the official said.

Between an ongoing drought and global sanctions over North Korea's refusal to diminish their nuclear program, it's clear that Kim Jong Un isn't doing his people any health-related favors by promoting risky farming practices - and cutting them off from worldwide support, reported the Post.

Song Tao's official mission is to brief North Korean officials on the outcome of China's ruling Communist Party congress held last month. It's a staple grain that more North Koreans may be relying on in the wake of what the United Nations has called the worst drought since 2001. Parasites which enter the body via contaminated food are often worms.

North Korean soldier shot injured as he defected
North Korean soldier shot injured as he defected

"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 National University College of Medicine who specializes in parasites.

Lee Min-bok, a North Korean agriculture expert, told Reuters: "Chemical fertiliser was supplied by the state until the 1970s". "So [even] if majority might go unnoticed, they all indicate a poor health status".

If the intestines are disrupted and parasites are released into the body cavity, they can be a lot more risky and much more complicated to treat.

The visit is seen as an effort by Xi to explore a new approach in relations and likely also reflects Xi's desire to head off further pressure from Washington.

"I think our soldiers did a pretty good job", South Korea's Defence Minister Song Young Moo told lawmakers on Tuesday.

BBC reports that human faeces are still used as fertilisers in North Korea. Prof Lankov says this seems to be the case in North Korea.

Should there ever be a reunification of the two Koreas though, there would be massive health problems for officials to deal with for decades to come, Prof Lankov warns.

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