"In my over 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook", lead surgeon Lee Cook-jong said in a press briefing on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
North Korea has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States, sparking a major global crisis in which US President Donald Trump has said all options are under consideration, including military ones. 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).
North Korea could not consider abandoning its nuclear programme, he said, adding: "This is the deterrent, the nuclear deterrent to cope with the nuclear threat from America".
The soldier was shot by his comrades Monday as he crossed the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.
"(The soldier's condition is) not surprising at all considering the North's hygiene and parasite problems", Choi added. It said these appeared larger than those for North Korea's Romeo-class attack submarine.
North Korean soldiers are then believed to have fired around 40 rounds in a bid to stop him.
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The hospital that treated him said he had been shot in his buttocks, armpit, back, shoulder and knee, and sustained other wounds.
Their continued prevalence in North Korea could be linked to the use of human excrement as fertiliser, often referred to as night soil. The problem is common among defectors, the professor said, but may not be reflective of the North Korean population.
Doctors said the soldier's height was 1.7 metres (5ft 7in) and his weight 60kg (9st 6lb).
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. A study in 2009 found preschool children in the North were up to 13cm shorter and up to 7kg lighter than those brought up in the South.
North Korea started testing submarine-launched ballistic missiles a year ago, and Kim Jong Un has shown an increased willingness to utilize submarines.
An official from South Korea's top spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, told lawmakers on Thursday that North Korea has not secured the key technologies needed to build a ballistic missile that can survive a return through the atmosphere, the Yonhap news agency reported yesterday, citing a "parliamentary source".