North Korea says “unusual things” near border caused Covid-19 outbreak

Photo by Matichon.

North Korean state media says its Covid-19 outbreak was caused by 2 people touching so-called “unusual things” near the border with South Korea. The state-run agency KCNA did not, however, specify what theses “unusual things” were. KCNA said the 2 people who touched the things were an 18 year old soldier, and a 5 year old child. The two reportedly touched the things on a hill near the border in April.

This news comes after a North Korean defectors’ activist group sent balloons carrying anti-North Korea leaflets across the border. KCNA’s bizarre report said that North Korea needed…

“to vigilantly deal with unusual items coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons.”

But South Korean authorities have denied that Covid-19 could have spread through the leaflets, citing local and international health experts on the low risk.

North Korea first reported its outbreak in May, describing it as the “gravest national emergency”. A full national lockdown was ordered, with state media saying Omicron infections were detected in Pyongyang. Due to the outbreak, freight trains between North Korea and the Chinese border city of Dandong were suspended.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation said North Korea’s Covid-19 situation was likely deteriorating. The WHO’s emergencies director doubted North Korea’s claim that the country was making “progress” against the virus. The director, Michael Ryan, said…

“We assume that the situation is getting worse, not better. Right now, we are not in a position to make an adequate risk assessment of the situation on the ground.”


Coronavirus (Covid-19)World News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.