Surgeons reveal the dramatic moment North Korean soldier was air-lifted for surgery after being shot as he defected.. and the horrific ten-inch parasites removed from his body
- Soldier Oh Chong Song defected from North Korea to the South last month
- He was shot four times by North Korean soldiers as he ran across border
- Surgeon Lee Cook-Jong has spoken of the moment Song arrived in hospital
- He described the 24-year-old as 'like a broken jar' revealing they had to pump 12 gallons of blood into the injured soldier
- Dr Lee also found that his body was riddled with parasites and Hepatitis B
- 'It's a miracle that he survived,' Dr Lee said, adding that Song was slowly healing
- Soldier is also said to be suffering from post traumatic stress and has hung a South Korean flag in his room to assure himself he has escaped from the North?
The surgeon who saved the life of a North Korean defector after he had been shot four times during a mad dash across the border has spoken of the moment the soldier was airlifted into his hospital.
Lee Cook-Jong described 24-year-old Oh Chong Song as 'like a broken jar', saying the medical team at the Seoul hospital had to keep carrying out blood transfusions as he was losing so much.
Song had been shot four times as he ran across the border, and Dr Lee also found that his body was riddled with parasites and Hepatitis B.
Saving a life: A video shows the moment the 24-year-old soldier arrived at a hospital in Seoul after he was shot four times defecting from North Korea
'His vital signs were so unstable, he was dying of low blood pressure, he was dying of shock,' Dr Lee told CNN.
'He was like a broken jar. We couldn't put enough blood into him.'
Song had been shot in his knee, arm, back and chest through his shoulder, but despite his serious injuries, the team at the hospital saved his life.
The hepatitis B and the parasites - some more than 10 inches long - found in his body highlight nutrition and hygiene problems that experts say have plagued North Korea for decades.
'In my over 20 year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,' Dr Lee said shortly after the soldier defected.
He added that he feared the soldier would die on the operating table.?
'It's a miracle that he survived,' Lee said.
Drama: Video shows the moment the severely injured Song arrived at the hospital
Injuries: Surgeon Lee Cook-jong stands next to a mannequin showing where the North Korean soldier had been struck by bullets
Shocking: Song had been shot in his knee, arm, back and chest through his shoulder, and his body was riddled with parasites
Song made his dash over the border at the Panmunjom truce village on November 13.
He is believed to be an army staff sergeant who was stationed in the Joint Security Area in the United Nations truce village of Panmunjom, according to Kim Byung-kee, a lawmaker of South Korea's ruling party, briefed by the National Intelligence Service.
Footage from his brave dash across the border shows his former comrades opening fire at him as he races on foot over the painted line that divides the two countries.
He was shot at least four times in his daring bid, and was found by South Korean troops slumped in a pile of leaves just south of the border.
After being dragged to safety, he was airlifted to hospital, where he underwent two rounds of emergency surgery.
North Korea is accused violating an armistice agreement after its soldiers fired across the line that divides North and South Korea while chasing after a defecting North Korean solider (pictured, making a dash across between the two Koreas)
Song showed signs of depression and possible trauma when he woke up in the hospital. Continuing stress made the soldier hesitant to talk, but he had been cooperative, doctors said.
'He's a pretty nice guy,' added Lee, who has been operating and caring for the 24-year-old.
Song is eating his first 'clear liquid' food such as broths, and can smile, talk, and use his hands, Lee said. But when his patient woke on Sunday he cried out in pain, and Lee said he is still anxious about the South Korean guards.
Two major surgeries were required to remove the bullets and patch Song back together, and the medical team pumped as much as 12 liters of new blood into his body. The normal body has less than half as much blood.
'He told me that he is so thankful for South Koreans for saving his life and giving him that much blood,' Lee said.
Song is now walking, talking and going to the bathroom independently although complications from tuberculosis and hepatitis B are hampering his recovery.
He is also said to be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, and sometimes feared he'd never left the North. He has even hung a South Korean flag in his room to remind him of where he is.?
During his recovery, he has been watching the action driving flick 'The Transporter' and U.S. TV show 'CSI', and can't get enough of K-Pop, doctors say.
He also revealed that American and South Korean TV shows are popular in North Korea which shows that, at least some North Koreans have access to Western shows.
This map shows where the North Korean soldier crashed his video and where he collapsed after crossing the MDL
North Korea has reportedly replaced guards and fortified the section of its border where the young soldier defected.?
On average more than 1,000 North Koreans defect to the South every year, but most travel via China and numbers have fallen since Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011.?
It is unusual for a North Korean to cross the land border dividing the two Koreas. They have been in a technical state of war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
The last time a North Korean soldier had defected across the JSA was in 2007.?
While doctors have warned South Korean authorities that the most recent defector is too sick to talk yet, other defectors have opened up about the brutal regime in North Korea.
A woman who served in the North Korean army has said that life was so tough for female soldiers they stopped menstruating and rape was common place.
Lee So Yeon volunteered to serve when she was 17 in the army out of a sense of patriotism and for the prospect of regular, guaranteed food at a time, during the 1990s, when the country was undergoing a severe famine.
'After six months to a year of service, we wouldn't menstruate any more because of malnutrition and the stressful environment,' she said in an interview with the BBC.?
Digging in: North Korean workers are seen digging a trench and planting trees under the watch of soldiers in the area where a defector ran across the border at the Demilitarized Zone?
Though women had slightly easier physical training, they were expected to cook and clean as well, from which male colleagues were exempt. Because the army failed to make provision for menstruation that she and other female colleagues often had no choice but to reuse sanitary pads.
While she was herself not raped during her time in the army between 1992 and 2001 she said that many of her comrades were.
'The company commander would stay in his room at the unit after hours and rape the female soldiers under his command. This would happen over and over without an end.'
Another?defector revealed she watched as 11 musicians were blown to bits by anti-aircraft guns - and saw her teenage classmates dragged off to become Kim Jong-un's sex slaves.
Hee Yeon Lim, 26, opened up about how the tyrant nonchalantly orders executions of people - including family members.?
Tensions between the North, and South Korea and the US, have been rising over the past year.
On Monday, the United States and South Korea launched their biggest-ever combined air force exercise, called Vigilant Ace, which is meant to improve the allies' wartime capabilities.
The war games come a week after North Korea test-fired its most powerful missile ever, an ICBM that may be able to target the eastern seaboard of the United States.?
North Korea's state media said the joint drill pushes the Korean Peninsula 'to the brink of nuclear war' and is proof that the U.S. is 'begging' for a nuclear conflict.
'Should the Korean peninsula and the world be embroiled in the crucible of nuclear war because of the reckless nuclear war mania of the U.S., the U.S. will have to accept full responsibility for it,' North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency said Saturday, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Today, China has been staging military drills in the sea bordering North Korea, reportedly in response to the current US-South Korean joint exercise.
'China is showing that it can uphold the balance of power in the region,' Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told The Telegraph.?
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