The Success of Socialism: Part 10 — North Korean soldier infested with parasites

Remember, The Washington Post is not exactly a pro-Trump newspaper:

What the parasites in a defector’s stomach tell us about North Korea

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. | November 19, 2017 | 1:49 PM

The North Korean defector had sped across the demilitarized zone in a stolen jeep, then crawled south as the men who had been his comrades moments ago shot at him with handguns and AK-47 rifles.

South Korean soldiers found the defector under a pile of leaves, bleeding from at least five gunshot wounds.

He was brought to doctors, who expected to find the soldier in bad shape. But what they also found when they opened him up gave the world a glimpse into just how bad things are in North Korea.

Doctors repairing the unidentified soldier’s digestive tract found dozens of parasites in his intestines. One of the suspected roundworms was nearly a foot long.

“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 team treating the soldier, told the Associated Press.

You can read the rest of the grizzly story at the Post original, but the highlights, plus some additional references, are that:

  • The Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea spends roughly 22% of its Gross Domestic Product on the military, while its people are malnourished;
  • 10.5 million people, or 41 per cent of the total population, are undernourished. Steady improvement in this has occurred since 2000, in part as a result of humanitarian assistance;
  • The New York Times reported that this is not an isolated case; many North Korean defectors are infected with parasites; 7 out of 17 defectors to the Republic of Korea were found with parasites;
  • A lack of chemical fertilizer has resulted in the use of human feces as a replacement, and this helps spread parasites; and
  • Even soldiers, who normally receive better food rations than civilians, are infested with parasites.
  • The BBC reported that North Korean men average between one to three inches shorter than South Korean males, and that, among adult Koreans, the height of South Korean women is approaching that of North Korean men, attributed to the poorer nutrition of people in the North.
  • An estimated 20.8% of North Korean children suffered from acute malnutrition in 1998, with 55.5% underweight and 63.9% classified as chronically malnourished. The situation has improved somewhat, but much of that is due to foreign assistance.

This is what socialism has done in Korea. South Korea is economically prosperous, while the same people, the same ethnic group, are stunted and malnourished, with the only real difference being the political and economic systems under which the divided peninsula operates. Yet this is to what the socialists in the United States aspire!

Capitalism is the only economic system we have ever known which has lifted more than a tiny minority — usually meaning: the men with guns — above the subsistence level; socialism/communism has managed to take prosperous nations, like Venezuela, back into poverty.


  1. I knew about the defector, Oh Chong Song, having been infected with parasites, but this story from The Washington Post confirms that the Medivac crew thought he visibly “appeared malnourished.”

    Oh was a soldier along the Demilitarized Zone, one of the most important stations in North Korea, and he was still underfed. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has enough resources to keep building and testing longer-and-longer ranged ballistic missiles, but not enough to feed their own people. How f(ornicated) up is that?

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