Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

video MOST POPULAR

North Korea's wounded defector is a 'nice guy', says surgeon

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 01:39

North Korea’s latest defector, a young soldier known only by his family name Oh, is a quiet, pleasant man who has nightmares about being returned to the North, according to his South Korean surgeon. Grace Lee reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

In this heavily guarded South Korean hospital, Pyongyang's latest defector, known by his surname "Oh," is slowly recovering. He only regained consciousness on Sunday (November 19), but it seems he's already made a friend. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SURGEON IN CHARGE OF DEFECTED NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER'S SURGERY, JOHN COOK-JONG LEE, SAYING: "He is pretty nice guy." Surgeon John Lee is one of very few people to have spoken to Oh since his arrival. He describes the 24 year old as quiet, pleasant man. But say's he's haunted by nightmares of being returned to the North. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SURGEON IN CHARGE OF DEFECTED NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER'S SURGERY, JOHN COOK-JONG LEE, SAYING: "He had a dream that he was kidnapped to North Korea again That's why I strongly let him know that 'you are in South Korea now and you are very very safe.'" Video of Oh's escape, released earlier this week, shows him stumbling over the border, while being shot at by his fellow North Korean soldiers. Medical teams worked for days to remove shards of bullets from his body, stitch up shredded organs and treat pre-existing conditions, including hepatitis B, tuberculosis and a case of massive intestinal worms. Lee says Oh is eating liquid foods now and can smile, talk and use his hands. But even if he fully recovers, some of his scars will stay for life. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SURGEON IN CHARGE OF DEFECTED NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER'S SURGERY, JOHN COOK-JONG LEE, SAYING: "His hair style is like a jarhead, like the United States Marines, so I actually joked 'why don't you join the South Korean Marines?' He smiled me back and then he actually condemned that he will never ever go back to military system again." South Korean military officials are eager to question Oh, but the surgeon has told them to hold off. For now, what the young man needs is rest.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

North Korea's wounded defector is a 'nice guy', says surgeon

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 01:39