Disease-Ridden North Korean Soldier Escapes

Disease-Ridden North Korean Soldier Escapes

Deartis Mason, Sports Recorder

On November 23, 2017, a North Korean soldier, identified by only his surname “Oh,” attempted to defect from the military and escape to South Korea. As soldiers are not permitted to cross the border, Oh stole a vehicle and drove quickly across the border. Unfortunately, his car got stuck, so he had to evacuate and run on foot instead. In the process of escaping, he was spotted and attacked by his fellow soldiers. While running for his life, over forty rounds were fired at him, causing him to get shot five times. However, this was not enough to stop him. Oh crawled over the border while bleeding out, and was rescued by South Korean soldiers. He was brought to a doctor after losing more than half of his blood.

He was brought to a hospital south of Seoul. A doctor explained that the soldier showed many signs of depression and PTSD and will be unable to answer questions for at least a month. North Korean soldiers responded to this incident by planting trees and digging a trench where Oh escaped. He is now in stable condition after doing numerous operations to treat his wounds, re-inflate a collapsed lung, and remove parasitic worms. These worms are proof of the health crisis and disease occurring in North Korea, due to a large percentage of funds going towards military and nuclear power. He was treated for hepatitis B and tuberculosis as well. There were also uncooked kernels found in his stomach, indicating that Oh had been surviving off of stolen or limited resources. There is little known about the environment of North Korea, only indicated by escaped citizens, but so far, conditions seem to be bleak.


Source: Washington Post