The North Korean soldier who risked his life in November to defect to the South has formally expressed his desire to remain in the country and will have his medical bills paid in full. The defector, identified in local media as 24-year-old Oh Chung Sung (or Oh Chong Song, depending on the translation), will be given South Korean citizenship following a government interrogation from which few details have been shared in the press. “Although Mr. Oh indirectly expressed his will to defect by coming to South Korea through the Joint Security Area (JSA), it was not proven perfectly,” the Ministry of Unification told South Korean The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper on Wednesday. “He has made clear that he wants to defect to South Korea during the government’s recent joint interrogation.” Oh racked up 65 million won ($60,800) in medical bills after suffering at least four gunshot wounds as his North Korean comrades fired at him as he ran across the military demarcation line at the JSA in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) border area between the two countries. Around 60 percent of the costs will be shouldered by South Korea’s National Health Insurance, while the remaining 40 percent will be covered by… Read full this story
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