In a video from South Korean Digitalsoju TV, women defectors who formerly served in North Korea’s military sit down with a South Korean host.
One defector explained that all North Korean women must serve in the military for six years, in addition to all men being required to serve for 11 years.
During her time in the military, one of the female defectors said she was fed only three spoonfuls of rice at mealtimes. “I weighed just around 81 pounds and was about 5’2,” said the defector. Her Body Mass Index, though not a perfect indicator of health, works out to about 15, whereas a healthy body is considered to have a BMI of about 19-25.
Unsurprisingly, malnutrition is widespread across all sectors of North Korea. And the defector still said that is even the case within the military. Soldiers are poorly paid, and withhold or steal each other’s state-issued goods like military uniforms.
A second defector said that the officers in charge of uniform and ration distribution would often leverage their position to coerce sex from female soldiers. Read more