Giant worms are a window into the hell of life in North Korea
Parasitic worms found in a North Korean soldier who was critically injured during a desperate defection highlight nutrition and hygiene problems that experts say have plagued the isolated country for decades.
At a briefing Wednesday, lead surgeon Lee Cook-jong displayed photos showing dozens of flesh-colored parasites — including one 10.6 inches long — removed from the wounded soldier’s digestive tract during a series of surgeries to save his life.
“In my over 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Lee said.
The parasites, along with kernels of corn in his stomach, may confirm what many experts and previous defectors have described as the food and hygiene situation for many North Koreans.