Highly likely there are COVID-19 cases in N. Korea: Expert

now North Korea’s state media outlets
continue to boast that the current virus has not gotten into the north but
watchers here in South Korea believe otherwise they say it’s highly possible
if the regime is already facing the epidemic and this outbreak poses a
challenge to North Korean leader Kim jong-un in his drive toward
self-sufficient economic growth ro drunk’ spoke to some experts North Korea’s Health Minister has
appeared on state TV for four days in a row this week to confirm the north is
virus free according to the data we’ve gathered until now thankfully there’s no
patient infected with the new corona virus in our country using all of its
media outlets the North has been urging its people to do their best in their
current teen efforts the regime also has closed its borders with China and
suspended tours also in place a strict quarantine of up to 30 days on all
incoming travelers North Korea proudly states that it has seen no confirmed
cases and the World Health Organization says it’s not dealing with any
coronavirus cases in the north but the real situation on the ground is hard to
assess experts here in South Korea say it’s highly probable that there are
infections in the north we have intelligence that a citizen in Konya
who’s visited China has been infected and I’ve heard that there was an order
in the north to burn all the dead bodies so we can’t rule out the possibility of
deaths from the virus Cho points out that the virus could spread within the
regime by North Korean laborers who returned home from China last December
after the virus broke out the north started isolating travelers in January
smuggling were Civic exchanges between North Koreans and Chinese are possible
factors as well pundits also point to weak public health infrastructure in the
north a lack of test kits and medicine ordinary North Koreans may not be aware
they’re infected confusing symptoms of the corona virus with other respiratory
diseases common in the north the Kovan 19 epidemic creates a dilemma
for Kim jong-un Pyongyang’s trade with Beijing the main source of income for
the regime under the international sanctions framework is directly hit Kim
jong-un has seated at the start of the new year that his regime will confront
the international sanctions and achieve self-supported economic development for
the north to achieve its so-called self-reliance it should mobilize as many
people as possible but at the moment that’s difficult because the virus needs
to be controlled plus the North also has to close its border with China at a time
when it badly needs economic assistance Pyong yang through its new doom Shimbun
newspaper on Friday emphasized that it’s clean from the virus in contrast to
South Korea watchers say it’s part of propaganda efforts the news that there
are infections in North Korea could greatly hurt public sentiments and leave
a mark against Kim jong-un’s leadership who Johnny Arirang news

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