SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea announced its first coronavirus infection in more than two years of the pandemic on Thursday as Chairman Kim Jong-un urged him to raise COVID-19 prevention measures to the highest level.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), it was confirmed that the virus was infected with the Omicron strain after being tested by an unspecified number of people in the capital Pyongyang. North Korea had previously made claims that it had completely blocked COVID-19, but outside experts strongly doubted this claim.
The media reported that Chairman Kim convened a meeting of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea and that members decided to take measures against the virus. At the meeting, Chairman Kim urged his officials to stabilize the transmission and eliminate the source of infection as soon as possible.
Despite the decision to step up the antivirus phase, Chairman Kim has directed officials to push ahead with scheduled construction, agricultural development and other national projects while strengthening the country’s defense posture to avoid a security gap.
Spokesperson Kim said that authorities should also come up with measures to alleviate public discomfort and other negative situations that may arise as a result of the strengthened quarantine measures. “One-hearted unity is the strongest guarantee for victory in the fight against this epidemic,” said Chairman Kim.
To prevent the virus from entering its territory, North Korea has closed its borders to almost all trade and visitors for two years, damaging an economy already damaged by decades of mismanagement and US-led sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs. It shocked me even more.
North Korea temporarily resumed rail freight transportation between the border region of Sinuiju and Dandong, China in January, but China announced last month that it would suspend trade negotiations in Dandong due to the spread of Corona 19.
North Korea has so far avoided vaccines provided by the UN-funded COVAX distribution program. Perhaps it is because these vaccines have international monitoring requirements.