national closure –
During a meeting of the party’s Politburo, Kim asked officials to stabilize broadcasts and eliminate the source of infection as quickly as possible, as well as mitigate the inconvenience caused by the controls to the public. The North Korean leader also said, “Resolute public unity is the strongest guarantee for the victory of this battle.”
So Kim ordered stricter border controls and nationwide lockdown, urging citizens to “completely prevent the spread of the virus by completely locking down their areas in all cities and counties in the country”. All commercial and production activities will be organized so that every business unit is “isolated” to prevent the spread of disease.
To this day, the North has always denied the existence of COVID-19 cases
, defending a position that experts from the United States, South Korea, Japan and other countries have questioned, and rejected vaccines from the outside world, even those already planned by Covax, the program backed by the World Health Organization. From January 3, 2020 to May 11, 2022, the World Health Organization said, North Korea had “no confirmed case of Covid-19 and no deaths.”
In August 2020, North Korea said it was continuing to develop a vaccine against the virus, without providing any further information.
Any outbreak of Covid-19 in the country could be devastating
Because of an outdated and non-existent health system in remote rural areas. North Korea is surrounded by countries that have fought or are still fighting the Omicron outbreak, including China, South Korea and Russia. Seoul, which has high vaccination rates, recently eased almost all restrictions with cases declining after record levels in March. China, the only major global economy still maintaining a zero-Covid-19 policy, is struggling with the worst crisis since the Wuhan crisis in early 2020.
Seoul’s worries –
North Korea’s announcement of the injuries came after that NK . news, a news website focused on North Korea, cited anonymous sources who said the authorities had imposed a blockade on the residents of Pyongyang. The South Korean government said it could not confirm the news.
said Leif Eric Easley, professor of international studies at Ewha Seoul Women’s University. “For Pyongyang to publicly acknowledge the omicron cases, the public health situation must be grave,” Easley said. “This does not mean that North Korea will suddenly become open to humanitarian aid and take a more conciliatory line toward Washington and Seoul. But the domestic public may be less interested in nuclear or missile tests when the urgent threat of the coronavirus is related to the military.”
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