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The North Korean soldier who was shot several times when he dramatically defected earlier this month had hepatitis B when he crossed the DMZ, doctors who operated on the 24-year-old.
As the soldier, identified only by his surname, Oh, recovers in a South Korean hospital, he has been watching the action driving flick 'The Transporter' and forensic whodunnit 'CSI', and can't get enough of K-Pop, doctors say.
At a briefing on Wednesday, lead surgeon Lee Cook-jong displayed photos showing dozens of flesh-coloured parasites - including one 27 cm (10.6 in) long - removed from the wounded soldier's digestive tract during a series of surgeries to save his life.'Although we do not have solid figures showing health conditions of North Korea, medical experts assume that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in the country,' said Choi Min-Ho, a professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine who specialises in parasites.
North Korea is accused violating an armistice agreement after its soldiers fired across the line that divides North and South Korea while chasing after a defecting North Korean solider (pictured, making a dash across between the two Koreas)Oh's condition was 'not surprising at all considering the North´s hygiene and parasite problems,' he said.
As such, its not that surprising that some North Koreans attempt to escape, and many do, beginning an dangerous journey by crossing over the border into China and seeking asylum in South Korea.
As of 2011, there were thought to be 23,000 North Korean refugees living in the South.
The patient first recovered consciousness on Sunday, and asked where he was in South Korea, Lee said.
As Oh recovers, he has been captivated by American crime dramas and action movies since he woke up in the hospital, his doctor said on Wednesday.'We began turning on the television and playing music for him since yesterday' to help with his recovery, doctor Lee told reporters.
The television remains fixed on a 24-hour movie channel as the local news could upset the patient, Lee said, and added: 'He enjoys movies and American TV series like 'CSI'.'Oh made his dash over the border at the Panmunjom truce village on November 13.
They have been in a technical state of war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
The last time a North Korean soldier had defected across the JSA was in 2007.
Oh showed signs of depression and possible trauma when he woke up in the hospital.