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A few weeks ago, news about parasitic worms found in a North Korean soldier went viral.
The defector, Oh Chong Song, was critically injured following what was described as "desperate defection" from the hermit kingdom. North Korean soldiers shot him as he fled for the border.
Now, a video, released by CNN, reveals the dramatic moment surgeons removed the 10-inch-long parasite from the man's stomach.
"Everything was stained with blood, but the parasite was basically a really white color and this thick, big, long and very, very hard, this kind of thing was getting out from his bowel system," Lee Cook-jong, the lead surgeon, told CNN of the surgery.
Oh was taken to Ajou University Hospital in Seoul via helicopter and was declared “unstable” and “dying of low blood pressure” when he escaped.
As surgeons started treating him for his bullet wounds, which turned out to be a five-hour procedure, they found the parasites along with kernels of corn in his stomach.
“In my over 20 year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Lee Cook-jong, the lead surgeon, told reporters.
The shocking discovery confirmed the poor food and hygiene situation in North Korea, as has been described by previous defectors.
For instance, in September, it was reported malnourished North Korean soldiers had been instructed by the higher-ups to steal corn from fields to calm their hunger pangs.
Oh was reportedly shot five times during his daring escape, which was captured on camera.
"He was like a broken jar. We couldn't put enough blood into him," Lee said, adding, "he was dying of low blood pressure, he was dying of shock."
The defector is now in a stable condition, however, "complications from tuberculosis and hepatitis B continue to compromise his recovery, especially his liver function," CNN reported.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Screen grab Video