Tags: North Korea | north korea | defector | orphans | eating | lice

NK Defector: Orphans Ate Animal Waste, Lice

NK Defector: Orphans Ate Animal Waste, Lice
North Korean students sit in class at the Pyongyang Orphans' Secondary School in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Jon Chol Jin/AP)

By    |   Friday, 24 November 2017 06:06 PM

A North Korean defector has reportedly revealed that it wasn't uncommon for orphaned children to subsist on corn extracted from cow dung, or lice, during the late 1990s famine that killed more than 1 million people.

Lee Wi-ryeok told Daily NK that he only realized how gruesome conditions were in the orphanage where he grew up after he'd defected to South Korea, UPI reported.

"After I came to South Korea, I was amazed to learn tuberculosis is a disease that can be treated," he said, UPI reported. "The most serious illness you can get is probably tuberculosis. If you get tuberculosis, there is no answer. You just die if you get sick at the orphanage."

He also asserted orphaned children ate whatever they could find — sometimes resorting to picking through animal waste, or eating the lice they found on their own heads, UPI reported.

"If a cow excreted kernels of corn in the form of diarrhea, we would rinse them out and eat those," Lee said, UPI reported.

He added: "When you bit into the lice, they would burst with blood," explaining the children thought it would be a waste not to eat the lice that crawled through their hair.

In another horror story, UPI reported that North Korean orphanage administrators would build a bonfire on the grounds to disinfect children from mites. Lee said administrators would "beat the children with a stick" if they tried to escape the encircling flames.

Almost everyone in North Korean suffered significant hardships during the famine, the Daily Caller reported — noting one defector reported her family was forced to eat grass.

The woman, whom DC did not identify, told the outlet that her grandmother became deathly ill after eating grass tainted by toxins but that the family was able to fulfill her dying wish — to eat a baked potato.

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A North Korean defector has reportedly revealed that it wasn't uncommon for orphaned children to subsist on corn extracted from cow dung, or lice, during the late 1990s famine that killed more than 1 million people.
north korea, defector, orphans, eating, lice
306
2017-06-24
Friday, 24 November 2017 06:06 PM
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