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North Korean Soldier’s Health Condition Offers Insight Into Country

New York Times: The Parasites Feeding on North Koreans
Brian H. Hook, director of policy planning and senior policy adviser at the State Department

“…[South Korean] doctors soon discovered just how grave [a North Korean soldier’s] condition was: Along with the bullet wounds [he obtained while fleeing North Korea], he also had hepatitis B, pneumonia, and ‘an enormous number’ of parasitic worms in his intestines, some up to 11 inches long. … The worms can burrow into fresh wounds, with potentially devastating effects. This defector’s plight is a window onto North Korean life. For all the regime’s spending on sophisticated weapons, monuments to the Kim family, and bribes for elites in Pyongyang, even trusted soldiers suffer terrible malnourishment. A vast majority of other North Koreans endure still worse. Such is the cruelty of North Korea’s regime — and such is the responsibility of those foreign governments that enable it…” (11/24).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.