Drunk North Korean doctors get killer cure from wives – report

January 6, 2016 7:04 pm

 Even by the standards of about , this story is bizarre. Photo / AFP

Even by the standards of news about North Korea, this story is
bizarre: Two North Korean doctors working in Cambodia died over the
weekend, apparently after they got so drunk that their wives, also
doctors, injected them with some mystery liquid to counteract the
alcohol.
Both men then had heart attacks, according to the Phnom Penh Post.
Now,
we’re used to stories about strange deaths in North Korea. But this
case concerns North Koreans who were almost certainly among the
50,000-plus citizens outside the country earning money for leader Kim
Jong Un’s regime. According to the Cambodian news report, local police
were called to an address in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district, a clinic
that also serves as home to the North Korean doctors. There, they found a
dozen North Koreans and the two dead doctors, identified as An Hyong
Chan, 56, and Chol Ri Mun, 50.
The police were immediately suspicious but apparently had their concerns allayed.

“According to the autopsy report, the victims both died of a
heart attack,” local police chief Khan Khun Tith told the newspaper. The
men had been drinking heavily and were running very high temperatures
when their wives found them, according to the report.
“After
arriving home, we checked their conditions, and their temperature had
reached 40C, and their heartbeat was abnormal and their pulses
abnormally weak,” Tith quoted one of the wives as saying. “So we tried
to save them by injecting medicine and serum to weaken the intoxication,
but an hour later, they had a heart attack and died.”
When the Phnom Penh Post‘s
reporters visited the clinic, they were told to leave by four North
Korean men. “We don’t want any interviews with journalists,” one of them
said, according to the report.
This is the latest episode in a
recent spate of news involving North Korean doctors abroad. Three North
Korean doctors were killed – one of them beheaded – in northeastern
Nigeria in 2013, apparently by Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group.
Then there was a report in May last year that a North Korean doctor and
his wife had been kidnapped in Libya by Isis (Islamic State) militants.
In
Cambodia, North Korean doctors are reported to be working at medical
clinics in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, near the famed Angkor Wat site.
They are part of a burgeoning number of North Koreans working abroad.
With
few legal ways to make money in the outside world, Kim’s regime has
dramatically stepped up labour exports. From textile factories in China
and logging camps in Russia to construction sites in the Middle East and
mines in southeast Asia, North Koreans are earning money both for
themselves and the regime. They typically get to keep one-third of what
they earn – far more than what they could make at home.

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