A shot too many?: The mysterious deaths of two N Korean doctors

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 05, 2016 10:08 IST
On most counts, the stories are bizarre, sensational, and false. And they largely revolve around North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

The death of two North Koreans doctors over the weekend almost sounds like a case out of a mystery novel – having too much to drink at a seeming get-together and then injected by their wives, two doctors are pronounced dead of a heart attack.

The validity of news would have been debatable indeed if it happened in North Korea where the country has been living in a government-induced bubble that has sealed contact from the rest of the world since 1953. However, the doctors were found dead at their residence in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Police received a call on Saturday afternoon, much after the men died, deeming the entire incident suspicious. However, the wives of both men, also doctors by profession, said they had administered an injection to counter what appeared to be alcohol poisoning to them.

“After arriving home, we [the wives] checked their conditions, and their temperature had reached 40 degrees Celsius, and their heartbeat was abnormal and their pulses abnormally weak. 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,” said the local police chief Khan Khun Tith, according to the The Phnom Penh Post.

Identified as Dr An Hyong Chan, 56, and Dr Rimun Chol, 50, the men had died after an evening of drinks and food at the clinic that doubled as their home in Phnom Penh. There were 10 other North Koreans present in the house at the time.

“According to the autopsy report, the victims both died of a heart attack,” Tith said, apparently satisfied by the explanation given by the dead doctors’ wives, The Washington Post said.

The American publication also reported that when reporters visited the clinic on Sunday afternoon, they were told by “four unfriendly North Korean men” to leave.

North Korea is notorious for the news – or lack of it – that manages stream through. On most counts, the stories are bizarre, sensational, and false. And they largely revolve around North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. Sample these: Kim Jong-un executed a Pyongyang traffic lady for sneezing, was voted 2012’s “sexiest man alive”, assassinated his pop-singer girlfriend Hyon Song-wol for making porn, poisoned his aunt Kim Kyong-hui, and climbed an active volcano.

Other fun news breaks from the country include the discovery of a unicorn lair and the invention of waterproof liquid!

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