Defector Reveals How Orphaned North Koreans Survived The Great Famine
THE DAILY CALLER:
North Korea has long been a nightmare, but the Arduous March, a famine that killed more than one million people in the late 1990s, was an unbelievable tragedy.
To escape the horrors of the North Korean regime, a soldier named Oh Chungsung made a desperate dash into the South at the border last week. Doctors treating him for gunshot wounds discovered the man had Hepatitis B, tuberculosis, and a gut full of parasites. The health of the young soldier highlights the horrors of life in North Korea, but while things are bad now, there was a time when life was far worse for the people of North Korea.
Lee Wi-ryeok, another North Korean defector, grew up in the 90s and lived in a North Korean orphanage until he was a teenager, UPI reports, citing Daily NK. He explained that it wasn’t until he defected to South Korea that he learned how good life can be. “After I came to South Korea, I was amazed to learn tuberculosis is a disease that can be treated,” he told reporters. “The most serious illness you can get is probably tuberculosis. If you get tuberculosis, there is no answer. You just die if you get sick at the orphanage.”
He introduced that during the famine, orphanages were particularly horrible places to live. The children ate whatever they could find, which sometimes meant eating food from the waste of animals. “If a cow excreted kernels of corn in the form of diarrhea, we would rinse them out and eat those,” Lee said, adding that the children also ate lice.