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North Korea defector 'stabilized' after second surgery: South Korean surgeon

North Korea defector 'stabilized' after second surgery: South Korean surgeon
From Reuters - November 15, 2017

SEOUL (Reuters) - A North Korean soldier who suffered critical gunshot wounds during a defection dash over the border to South Korea this week stabilized on Wednesday after a second round of surgery, a doctor treating him said.

The soldier, whose rank and identity have not been disclosed, was flown by helicopter to hospital on Monday after his escape to South Korea in a hail of bullets fired by North Korean soldiers.

Wednesdays surgery was successful in terms of staunching bleeding and the soldier had stabilized much, said Lee Cook-jong, the surgeon in charge of his treatment.

However, he remained unconscious and was not out of the woods, as complications from a severe hip fracture and possible infection remained major concerns, Lee said.

We will be able to tell you after about 10 days, Lee told reporters at a briefing, when asked about the soldiers chances of surviving.

On Tuesday, government and military officials said the soldier was in critical condition but doctors expected him to live.

The soldier made his escape in a border peace village on the heavily guarded demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

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