North Korean defector: ‘If you do not have cash or energy, you die in a ditch’


Giving his first interview since his defection final November, Oh Chong-song informed Japanese and South Korean media that he is a “new particular person with a brand new identify” in South Korea, and that one of many first issues he remembers following his emergency life-saving surgical procedure, was seeing the South Korean flag.

The then-24-year-old was shot round 5 instances by his fellow North Korean troopers as he made his daring escape throughout the road that divides North and South Korea.

Riddled with bullets, he was dragged to security by South Korean troopers and hovered near loss of life throughout the 25-minute airlift to hospital. The South Korean army physician who operated on him known as him “a damaged jar. We could not put sufficient blood into him.”

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He informed Japanese newspaper Sankei, that the troopers who shot him had been his pals, however that he understood their place.

“If they do not shoot, they are going to be severely punished. If I had been of their place I’d have shot me too.” He stated “hassle” together with his military pals led to his determination to flee, however declined to elaborate.

He stated he was hospitalized till February, and nonetheless goes to hospital frequently. He stated the nerves in his arm had been eliminated, so he “cannot really feel it” when he pinches it.

Widespread privation

Oh was born into a comparatively well-off army household. He joined the army in 2010, changing into a middle-ranking officer who was working as a driver for a senior officer stationed within the Joint Safety Space (JSA) within the DMZ.

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Nonetheless, he stated that starvation remained a giant a part of life within the impoverished nation.

“If you do not have cash or energy, you die in a ditch,” he stated.

Corruption rampant

He was candid in describing how he bought by, saying that, in his former job as a police officer he “would flip a blind eye to individuals who broke the legislation however gave me cash,” and that he would threaten them with jail time in the event that they did not pay him the requested bribe.

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Oh, who was discovered to be infested with parasites when he underwent medical examination within the South, attributed to the usage of human feces as fertilizer for the issue — saying that “most individuals have parasites” within the nation.

“Within the military, individuals use tableware repeatedly with out washing them. However parasites do not develop in individuals if they’re actually malnourished. In my case, I used to be discovered with parasites as a result of I used to be in good situation.”

He added that widespread shortages of meals and items had led to a basic apathy in the direction of the management and an “indifference” in the direction of chief Kim Jong Un.

“Folks my age, about 80% of them are detached and so they do not feel loyal in the direction of (Kim). Not with the ability to feed the individuals correctly, however the hereditary succession retains occurring — that ends in indifference and no loyalty.”

He added that his countrymen “actually like Japanese items. Nissan Patrol (mannequin) vehicles are used completely by officers. “North Korean individuals condemn Japan in politics, however respect Japan in economics.”

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