USA and Japanese naval forces have begun their annual bilateral training exercise, seen as a show of force amid North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
"In my over-20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook", Lee said. The operations involved removing a bullet lodged in the abdominal wall and managing the "enormous number" of parasites including roundworms in his gut, the longest of which was was 27 centimeters (11 inches).
"President Xi recognizes that a nuclear North Korea is a grave threat to China, and we agreed that we would not accept a so-called "freeze-for-freeze" agreement like those that have consistently failed in the past", Trump said during a briefing on Wednesday.
"(The soldier's condition is) not surprising at all considering the North's hygiene and parasite problems", Choi added.
South Korean surgeons operating on a North Korean defector who ran across the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries under a hail of gunfire on Monday have found a parasite in the man's stomach unlike any other they had seen. The young man was rushed to hospital in South Korea by helicopter where he has undergone two rounds of emergency surgery. It said these appeared larger than those for North Korea's Romeo-class attack submarine.
Parasites are reportedly widespread in North Korea and can often be the result of consuming vegetables fertilised with human faeces. "The parasite infection problem seems to be serious even if it does not represent the entire North Korean population".
"By the 1990s, the state could not supply it any more, so farmers started to use a lot of night soil instead".
Satellite images taken this month of a North Korean naval shipyard indicate that Pyongyang is pursuing an "aggressive schedule" to build its first operational ballistic missile submarine, a United States institute has reported.
Lee drew significance from the fact that China, the North's lone major ally, had sent a special envoy to Pyongyang, saying that South Korea was closely watching what would come out of the visit.
About one in four North Korean children grow to be shorter than their South Korean counterparts, according to the World Food Programme.
"The main issue in DPRK [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea] is a monotonous diet, mainly rice or maize, kimchi and bean paste, lacking in essential fats and protein", WFP said.