SEOUL (AFP) - The North Korean soldier who dramatically defected through the demilitarised zone has been captivated by American crime dramas and action movies since he woke up in a South Korean hospital, his doctor said on Wednesday (Nov 22).
The 24-year-old soldier, identified only by his surname, Oh, has watched high octane driving flick The Transporter and forensic whodunnit CSI, and can't get enough of K-Pop.
"We began turning on the television and playing music for him since yesterday" to help with his recovery, doctor Lee Cook Jong told reporters.
The television remains fixed on a 24-hour movie channel as the local news could upset the patient, Lee said, and added: "He enjoys movies and American TV series like 'CSI'." Oh made his dash over the border at the Panmunjom truce village on Nov 13.
Footage that emerged on Wednesday showed his former comrades opening fire at him as he raced on foot over the painted line that divides the two countries.
He was shot at least four times in his daring bid, and was found by South Korean troops slumped in a pile of leaves just south of the border.
After being dragged to safety, he was airlifted to hospital, where he underwent two rounds of emergency surgery.
Lee said he has so far avoided asking his patient personal questions, but glimpses of life in the hermit state emerged as they watched "The Transporter" together, a 2002 thriller about a mercenary delivery driver.
"When he saw Jason Statham drive really fast, he told me that he used to drive," Lee said, suggesting it may have been connected to his role in the North Korean military.
Movies and pop music dominate their conversations, Lee said, stressing that his patient "really likes girl bands".
He has listened to the song "Gee" by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation.
Although Oh shares some interests with his counterparts in the wealthy, capitalist South, there are key differences, said Lee.
"His skin is quite different from South Korean males who are the same age. When I shook his hand, the skin was as hard as a washing board," Lee said.
Oh is currently drinking only water, but is recovering well, the doctor said, adding he expects his patient to leave intensive care this weekend.