Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Lee Guk-jong, the South Korean doctor who performed surgery on a North Korean soldier shot multiple times while fleeing across the border in 2017, says he has been the victim of bullying by hospital management.
Lee, who is credited with saving the life of former North Korean soldier Oh Chong Song, can be heard in a recording leaked to the press being subject to strong verbal abuse, local television network MBC reported Monday.
According to MBC, the man who calls Lee offensive slurs is Yoo Hee-seok, director of Ajou University Medical Center.
In the recording obtained by MBC, Yoo can be heard referring to Lee with expletives, while calling him a "subhuman."
Lee met with MBC on Monday at the hospital ahead of plans to leave for a two-month South Korean naval training exercises in the Pacific.
Lee said the slurs were directed at him, possibly for speaking out on the lack of hospital investments in the emergency room system, where the North Korean defector was taken following his escape in 2017.
"I feel broken, I really feel broken," Lee said regarding the heated dispute and the insults directed at him by senior management.
Lee has previously pointed out in public his hospital has been misallocating financial resources, including a $1.8 million budget. The doctor, who is considered a national hero in the South, said his hospital lacks helicopters for emergency rescue missions.
Lee is speaking out on issues with the hospital less than two weeks after the hospital said it ranked first in the nation for its ER facilities, according to Yonhap.
The hospital became the center of international attention after Oh's defection. Lee at the time told reporters Oh carried an "enormous number" of parasites in his intestines.
Oh, who is adjusting to life in the South, has made public appearances on South Korean talk shows. More recently he has been in the news for incidents of drunk driving.
Oh was recently arrested after driving while drunk in a "luxury vehicle," according to South Korea's Channel A last week.