How bad is the North Korean pandemic


Seoul, South Korea (AP) — After months of saying it keeps the coronavirus away, North Korea on Wednesday was closest to admitting that its antivirus campaign wasn’t complete.

Kim Jong-un’s reference to the “major crisis” caused by the “serious” failure of the ruling party’s anti-pandemic measures has sparked external speculation about how bad the situation in North Korea really is.

Look at some of the clues:

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Epidemic split experts

Do Hyogun Cha, an analyst at the Asan Policy Research Institute in Seoul, said North Korea has spread beyond border towns and rural areas and now reaches the city center, including the capital Pyongyang. He said he may be dealing with the outbreak of -19.

North Korea has told the World Health Organization that no coronavirus infection was found after testing more than 30,000 people, but experts are widely skeptical of the claim given its poor health infrastructure. Mr Cha said North Korea had no other way to deal with the outbreak than to quarantine people and blockade the entire region until the infection subsided.

Other experts, including Park Won-gon, a North Korean research professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said a large political bureau meeting attended by party officials across the country was planned in advance and the virus circulated. If so, actively stated that it may not have been held.

In the event of a large outbreak, North Korea will take extreme steps to blockade the affected areas, nothing outside the surveillance group was detected, and Seoul-based North Korean health Ahn Kyung-soo, director of the Welfare Research Center, said.

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What about power shakeups?

Most analysts agree that Kim’s remarks have made significant enough progress to justify the sway in Pyongyang’s leadership.

North Korean national media neglected Kim’s “significant party decision on taking the organizational, institutional, material, scientific and technical measures required in a long-term state of emergency campaign.” He said he blamed high-ranking officials and high-ranking government officials.

The report also said the party during the meeting had recalled unidentified members of a powerful presidium of the Politburo, consisting of Kim and four other senior officials. May dismiss Prime Minister Kim Tok-hun, Prime Minister Kim Tok-hun, or Secretary Jo Young-won of the party’s central committee, which was thought to have skyrocketed in North Korea’s power world There is.

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Do you want outside help?

Even if it copes with the surprising increase in infectious diseases, it is very unlikely that North Korea will admit it. Still, Kim’s decision to publicly deal with a major setback in the fight against the pandemic could be an appeal for outside help.

As North Korea approaches the 60th anniversary of the Friendship Treaty next month, Mr Cha said he could ask China, China’s major ally and economic lifeline, for stronger support.

Leif Eric Easley, a professor of international research at Ewha Womans University, said Kim’s efforts to find an outbreak of scapegoats could also prepare him to accept vaccines from abroad.

In February, COVAX, a program to distribute UN-sponsored vaccines worldwide, said North Korea could receive 1.9 million doses in the first half of this year. However, the plan was postponed due to a global shortage.

Professor Kim Jong-un of the Korean University School of Medicine in Seoul said that Kim Jong-un is likely to aim to raise international awareness of North Korea’s pandemic-related difficulties.

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