Hospital says North Korean soldier’s condition stabilizing

South Korean doctor Lee Cook-Jong, who carried out surgery on gunshot wounds sustained by a North Korean soldier, speaks about the condition of the soldier during a briefing at Ajou University Hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul, in this November 15, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 18 November 2017
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Hospital says North Korean soldier’s condition stabilizing

SEOUL, South Korea: The condition of a North Korean soldier severely wounded by gunfire while escaping to South Korea is gradually improving after two surgeries but it’s too early to tell whether he makes a recovery, hospital officials said Saturday
While the soldier’s vital signs are stabilizing, he continues to remain unconscious and relying on a breathing machine. After consecutive surgeries to repair internal organ damage and other injuries, no further surgeries are planned as of yet, said Shin Mi-jeong, an official at the Ajou University Medical Center near Seoul.
The unarmed soldier, whose name and rank have not been disclosed, defected to the South on Monday by driving a military jeep near a line that divides the Koreas at the Joint Security Area and then rushing across it under a barrage of bullets.
While treating the wounds, surgeons removed dozens of parasites from the soldier’s ruptured small intestine, including presumed roundworms that were as long as 27 centimeters (10.6 inches), which may be reflective of poor nutrition and health in North Korea’s military. Doctors measured the soldier as being 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) tall, but weighing just 60 kilograms (132 pounds).
“I spent more than 20 years of experience as a surgeon, but I have not found parasites this big in the intestines of South Koreans,” Lee Cook-jong, who leads the soldier’s medical team, told reporters earlier this week.
Lee is a famous trauma specialist who was hailed as a hero in 2011 after conducting life-saving surgeries on the captain of a South Korean freighter ship who was shot during a rescue mission after being held by Somali pirates.
South Korea’s military said four North Korean soldiers used handguns and AK rifles to fire about 40 rounds at their former comrade, who was hit at least five times. He was found beneath a pile of leaves on the southern side of the Joint Security Area, and South Korean troops crawled there to recover him. A United Nations Command helicopter later transported him to the Ajou hospital.
It remains unclear whether the North Koreans chasing the soldier fired at him even after he crossed into the southern side of the border, which would be a violation of an armistice agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. The UN Command, which is investigating the incident, postponed a plan to release video footage of the soldier’s escape on Thursday.
The JSA is jointly overseen by the American-led UN Command and by North Korea, with South Korean and North Korean border guards facing each other only meters (feet) apart. It is located inside the 4-kilometer (2 1/2-mile) -wide Demilitarized Zone, which forms the de facto border between the Koreas since the Korean War.


Arrests after Indian woman gang-raped, burned to death

Updated 27 min 31 sec ago
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Arrests after Indian woman gang-raped, burned to death

  • India has a grim record of sexual violence, with nearly 40,000 rape cases reported countrywide in 2016
  • Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, reported more than 4,800 rapes in 2016

NEW DELHI: Indian police arrested two men on Monday over the gang rape and burning to death of a woman, the latest shocking crime against females in the country, officials said.
Five men allegedly took it in turns to rape the woman after barging into her home early on Saturday, before dragging her to a Hindu temple where they burned her to death in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
“Two of the accused were arrested from an adjoining district early Monday and we are looking for the rest,” local police chief Radhey Mohan Bhardwaj said.
Initial investigations found the men, who are members of the same extended family as the victim and from the same locality, were “annoyed” with the 35-year-old for meeting a particular man, Bhardwaj said.
Police said the mother-of-two revealed the identities of the accused to her husband over the phone after the alleged rape and before they took her to the nearby temple and murdered her.
Police rejected media reports that the woman’s desperate emergency phone call went unanswered, saying it was unsuccessful because of the poor network quality in the area.
India has a grim record of sexual violence, with nearly 40,000 rape cases reported countrywide in 2016.
Campaigners say the true figure is likely to be much higher given the social stigma around victims of sexual crimes.
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, reported more than 4,800 rapes in 2016.
The state has been rocked by several high-profile rape cases in recent months, including one that allegedly involved a lawmaker from the ruling party.
Sexual violence in India has been in the global spotlight since the 2012 gang-rape and murder of a woman on a New Delhi bus sparked angry protests and stiffer penalties.