Apparently, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un had a unique idea for farmers when they fertilize their crops, and it’s causing a wave of parasitic infections across the country: Use human excrement.
According to Yahoo News, in 2014 Kim Jong-un instructed farmers to mix human feces with animal waste and organic compost to make fertilizer for their fields. Yahoo notes, “With a lack of livestock to provide animal fertilizer, agriculturists poured the human excrement, also known as ‘night soil,’ on their fields.”
Choi Min-Ho, a professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine who specializes in parasites, told Reuters, “Although we do not have solid figures showing health conditions of North Korea, medical experts assume that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in the country.”
One North Korean army staff sergeant who escaped to South Korea was found to have dozens of flesh colored parasites in his digestive tract; one was 10.6 inches in length. Lead surgeon Lee Cook-jong stated, “In my over 20 year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook.”
Lee Min-bok, a North Korean agriculture expert who defected to South Korea in 1995, asserted, “Chemical fertilizer was supplied by the state until the 1970s, but from the early 1980s, production started to decrease. By the 1990s, the state could not supply it anymore, so farmers started to use a lot of night soil instead.”