FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles as children eat during his visit to the Pyongyang Orphanage on International Children's Day in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang June 2, 2014. To match Insight NORTHKOREA-FOOD/ KCNA / via REUTERS/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA - RC1C9A4C9FC0

A wretched practice has been revealed to the South Korean government by defectors from the North: Orphaned children in ate corn extracted from cow dung and lice in order to stay alive.
Defector Lee Wi-ryeok told Daily NK on Wednesday that the practice occurred during the North Korea’s famine, when conditions in orphanages were poorer than other parts of the country. “If a cow excreted kernels of corn in the form of diarrhea, we would rinse them out and eat those,” said Lee, who lived at a North Korea orphanage in the late 1990s, until he was a teenager.
Children also ate lice because the parasites have blood and they believed it would be a waste not to eat them. “When you bite into lice they would burst with blood,” Lee said.
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The orphans had to survive inhumane treatment. Administrators made bonfires to disinfect the children …
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