In Depth

North Korean defector ‘nice guy who likes CSI’

Soldier known as ‘Oh’ also confesses love for Bruce Almighty

nkoreaescape.jpg

A North Korean soldier who made a daring dash across the South Korean border earlier this month is a “nice guy” who loves American films and TV shows, according to the surgeon treating him.

John Cook-Jong Lee told Reuters this week that the defector, a 24-year-old soldier known only as “Oh”, is recovering from serious bullet wounds after fellow North Korean soldiers shot at him as he fled to the South.

“Two major surgeries were required to remove the bullets and patch Oh back together”, The Guardian reports. Doctors needed almost 12 litres of blood transfusions to save him - enough to replace all his blood twice.

“He told me that he is so thankful for South Koreans for saving his life and giving him that much blood,” Lee said, before adding that Oh had admitted to liking Western films, TV shows and music, something severely frowned upon in his home country.

Oh revealed his fondness for the action thriller Transporter 3, religious comedy Bruce Almighty and the mystery TV drama series CSI, Lee recounted.

Lee said he had not shown Oh any news coverage regarding his defection.

Oh may receive South Korea's welfare plan for North Korean defectors, under which the government provides seven million won (£4,800) in cash over a year, as well as support in housing, education and job training, The Guardian adds.

The South Korean and US soldiers who led a rescue attempt to drag the Oh to safety after he was badly wounded have been awarded medals, Reuters reports.

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