North Korea’s injured defector ‘great person’, states cosmetic surgeon

Express News

By Reuters News|Updated: November 23, 2017

Lee Cook-jong, a South Korean surgeon who operated the defected North Korean soldier with gunshots, speaks during an interview with Reuters at a hospital in Suwon, South Korea, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Yang Hee-kyong

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s newest defector, a young soldier understood just by his household name Oh, is a peaceful, enjoyable guy who has headaches about being gone back to the North, his cosmetic surgeon stated on Thursday.

” He’s a quite good man,” stated lead cosmetic surgeon John Cook-Jong Lee, who has actually been caring and running for the 24-year-old. Oh has actually ended up being a focus of around the world attention after he was terribly injured by fellow North Korean soldiers as he rushed throughout the border in the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South on Nov. 13.

Video of Oh’s escape launched on Wednesday revealed him stumbling over the border and being dragged unconscious through the undergrowth by South Korean soldiers.

Cosmetic surgeon Lee has actually been practically the only individual to talk with Oh considering that he reached the healthcare facility, he informed Reuters in an interview at his workplace at Ajou University Hospital, simply a couple of floorings far from where the defector lies protected by South Korean unique forces and intelligence officers.

The cosmetic surgeon, who has actually hung a South Korean flag in the soldier’s space, stated he is preventing topics that might interrupt his client. Oh is consuming his very first “clear liquid” food such as broths, and can smile, talk, and utilize his hands, Lee stated. When his client woke on Sunday he wept out in discomfort, and Lee stated he is still distressed about the South Korean guards.

Lee stated Oh informed him that he had actually signed up with the North Korean army when he was 17, right after secondary school graduation. The soldier’s hair is styled “like a jarhead, like a U.S. Marine, so I really joked ‘why do not you sign up with the South Korean Marines?’ He stated and smiled that he would never ever return to the military system once again.”

Medical groups have actually worked for days to eliminate the fragments of a minimum of 4 bullets from Oh’s body, sew up his shredded organs, and deal with pre-existing conditions consisting of tuberculosis, liver disease B, and a case of enormous digestive tract worms, Lee stated.

” He’s a rather strong male,” stated Lee.

Because Oh’s defection, North Korea appeared to have actually changed all its security personnel on the border, an intelligence source in the South informed Yonhap news firm on Thursday.


Lee stated that when the defector showed up in an American military helicopter at the healthcare facility– which is geared up with advanced diagnostic devices and is utilized to deal with VIP visitors such as going to U.S. presidents – he included absolutely no individual details.

On the flight in, American army flight medics had actually battled to keep Oh alive, jabbing a big needle into his chest to deal with a collapsed lung.

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Oh was right away wheeled into a diagnostic space where medical professionals verified he was struggling with enormous internal bleeding. “We understood then that we didn’t have time to think twice,” Lee stated, standing in that space Thursday night.

2 significant surgical treatments were needed to eliminate the bullets and spot Oh back together, and the medical group pumped as much as 12 liters of new members into his body. The regular body has less than half as much blood.

” He informed me that he is so happy for South Koreans for conserving his life and providing him that much blood,” Lee stated.

Lee has actually been playing South Korean popular song and American movies and TELEVISION programs for his client, however has actually not exposed him to any news protection.

Amongst the programs, Oh revealed a taste for the French-American thriller “Transporter 3,” funny “Bruce Almighty” starring Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman; and the crime-solving TELEVISION series “CSI,” Lee stated.


Many North Korean defectors go through security questioning by South Korea’s intelligence company once they show up in the South prior to being sent out to a resettlement center for a three-month education on life in the South. After they are launched, regional and main federal governments offer 7 million won ($ 6,450) in money over a year, along with assistance in task, real estate and education training.

Law enforcement officer are designated to each of the defectors to guarantee their security and security.

Even if Oh totally recuperates, some scars will remain for the rest of his life, the cosmetic surgeon stated.

Amongst the longest long lasting injuries will be the damage to his colon, which was shredded by a bullet and needed to be sewn back together in 7 locations. “It’s a long-lasting issue for the client, so he’s much better to be extremely mindful in his diet plan,” stated the cosmetic surgeon.

The capacity for additional medical issues, Lee states he is most anxious about making sure Oh recuperates emotionally. The soldier has actually currently informed him he had a headache about being gone back to the North.

The cosmetic surgeon stated he has actually asked senior South Korean military authorities who aspire to question the soldier to hold back while he recuperates.

” This North Korean man is not going anywhere,” Lee stated. “He is remaining in South Korea. We do not require to be rash.”