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).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.