North Korean soldier defector wants to study law

The North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea under a hail of bullets last month has said he craves a chocolate snack and wants to get a law degree, according to reports in local media.

Channel-A TV station fully named the defector for the first time as Oh Cheong Seong (25) and identified him as the son of a high-ranking military police official, according to a member of the parliamentary committee on national defense.

“The soldier-defector is the son of a North Korean military police official with a rank equivalent to a South Korean lieutenant colonel,” the lawmaker said, quoted in the Korea Herald. It remains unclear whether the man is still serving in that position.

Oh defected to South Korea on November 13, crossing the demarcation line in the highly guarded Joint Security Area (JSA), the only part of the 160-mile demilitarized zone (DMZ) border area in which soldiers from the two countries face each other. CCTV footage showed him being chased by his former comrades, who shot him several times, causing him life-threatening injuries.

Thanks to the efforts of U.S. medics and South Korean doctors, Oh survived and recovered consciousness. Doctor Lee Cook-jong, one of South Korea’s leading trauma surgeons, carried out Oh’s treatment and described the former soldier as a “pretty nice guy” who enjoys K-pop, American movies and TV series. Doctor Lee told a local radio show on Friday the defector is now doing well enough to eat porridge, but he’s asking for more solid food, including a South Korean-made chocolate-covered, marshmallow-filled snack that is popular in North Korea.


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  1. Pingback: North Korean soldier defector ‘like a broken jar’ | North Korea Refugees

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