If you want to know how disgusting the conditions are for North Koreans, then the state of the recent North Korean defector who grabbed the world’s attention with his daring dash to the South Korean border is a giant clue.
You may recall just last month, North Korean soldier Oh Chong Song escaped to South Korea after a chase ended with him receiving 5 gunshot wounds. Oh, 24, was eventually rescued by South Korean forces and was airlifted to the hospital.
According to the Daily Caller, Oh’s condition was far worse than gunshot wounds:
Oh had enormous parasites, some of which were 11 inches long, in his gut. He also had Hepatitis B, tuberculosis, and a chronic liver infection. Doctors reportedly said Oh was at risk of developing liver cancer. South Korean intelligence reports that the young soldier is the son of a high-ranking military officer. If this is the state of a member of North Korea’s elite, imagine the health conditions of regular North Korean citizens.
As the Daily Caller reported, Oh is technically of the privileged class, but has large parasites and infections regardless of having the best care North Korea has to offer available to him.
What’s more, Oh reportedly belonged to a unit in the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone. These soldiers are reportedly treated much better than standard soldiers in order to keep up their loyalty, and not make it more tempting to defect. Despite this “better treatment,” doctors say they found raw corn kernels in Oh’s stomach, where it’s likely the parasites came from. The Daily Caller reported that this corn is grown from fertilizer created from human excrement.
Human feces reportedly pollutes the drinking water as well, lending to further risk of playing host to parasitic worms:
In rural villages, North Koreans pump water from underground and drink it. “There was no sewage facility, and feces from the toilets went directly underground, meaning the water is getting mixed with those feces,” one North Korean woman told The Korea Times. The local authorities said the water purified itself underground.
Students reportedly use dry human waste as fertilizer, often with their bare hands. Frequent water shortages prevent the students from washing their hands, which makes them much more susceptible to parasites. They are given medicine, but they take it with their unwashed hands.
This isn’t the first horror story to come out of North Korea. Every defector seems to have one, and people defect in droves.
A recent story from a woman who defected from the North Korean army told of how her fellow female soldiers were regularly raped by their commanding officers, and used as little more than a background staff to finish chores.