North Korea defector said to have 'enormous number of parasites'

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Tensions between the United States (US) and North Korea worsened after Pyongyang tested its nuclear weapons in recent weeks in a bid to advance its ultimate goal to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

A North Korean soldier who was shot five times and seriously wounded while defecting had "an enormous number" of parasitic worms in his body, said a medic who operated on him, according to media reports Friday.

"In my over-20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook", Lee said.

"The defector is likely to have had the parasites for a long time".

"President Xi recognizes that a nuclear North Korea is a grave threat to China, and we agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze for freeze agreement, like those that have consistently failed in the past", Trump said.

He is believed to be an army staff sergeant in his mid-20s who was stationed in the Joint Security Area in the United Nations truce village of Panmunjom, said Kim Byung-kee from South Korea's ruling Democratic party.

An article in the Korea Biomedical Review (KBR) explains that the soldier underwent two rounds of surgery at Ajou University hospital.

"[The man's condition is] not surprising at all considering the North's hygiene and parasite problems". It said these appeared larger than those for North Korea's Romeo-class attack submarine.

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While the contents of the defector's stomach do not necessarily reflect the wider population, his status as a soldier with an elite assignment suggests he would at least be as well nourished as an average North Korean.

Their continued prevalence in North Korea could be linked to the use of human excrement as fertiliser, often referred to as night soil.

The North Korean leader is said to rarely meet senior foreign visitors.

Doctors said the soldier's height was 1.7 metres (5ft 7in) and his weight 60kg (9st 6lb).

It's unclear whether the parasite has been seen in other parts of the world.

North Korea's last missile test was on September 15 but Lee and Yun did not seem to put much emphasis on the lull, Yonhap said, as they were unable to gauge its intentions.

An official from South Korea's top spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, told lawmakers on Thursday that North Korea has not secured the key technologies needed to build a ballistic missile that can survive a return through the atmosphere, the Yonhap news agency reported yesterday, citing a "parliamentary source".

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