The North Korean soldier who sustained multiple gunshot wounds as he crossed the border to defect to the South last week has regained consciousness and will survive, his doctor said on Wednesday.
"The patient will not die," surgeon Lee Cook-jong at Ajou University Hospital in Suwon said in a press briefing.
Lee said that it will take about a month for the soldier to recover enough to be interrogated by the authorities.
"The patient is fully conscious," Lee said in a statement released ahead of the briefing.
"But he is showing signs of depression due to much stress from the gunshot injuries and two major surgeries. The Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Department will do an assessment of post-traumatic stress disorder."
The soldier will continue to receive treatment in the intensive care unit for a few more days until it is clear there won't be further infections, Lee said, adding that the hospital will then closely consult with related agencies regarding the patient's treatment and transfer.
The soldier was shot multiple times by North Korean border guards as he ran across the border and through the truce village of Panmunjeom on Nov. 13. He was taken to Ajou University Hospital at 4:53 p.m. that day by the US Forces' DUSTOFF casualty evacuation team.