N. Korea sees suspected COVID-19 cases after victory claim




  • In World
  • 2022-08-24 23:01:24Z
  • By Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Thursday said it found four new fever cases in its border region with China that may have been caused by coronavirus infections, two weeks after leader Kim Jong Un declared a widely disputed victory over COVID-19.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency said health workers were conducting genetic tests on the samples taken from four people in the Ryanggang Province who exhibited fevers to confirm whether the symptoms were caused by the "malignant epidemic." The North often uses that term, along with "malignant virus," to describe COVID-19 and the coronavirus.

Authorities immediately locked down the areas where the fever cases emerged and will maintain tight restrictions until health workers determine the cause of the illness, KCNA said.

North Korea said there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in any part of the country since Aug. 10 when Kim declared victory over the virus and ordered preventive measures eased, just three months after the country acknowledged an outbreak.

While Kim claimed that the country's success against the virus would be recognized as a global health miracle, experts believe the North has manipulated disclosures on its outbreak to help him maintain absolute control. The victory statement signals Kim's aim to move to other priorities, including a possible nuclear test, experts say.

After admitting to an omicron outbreak of the virus in May, North Korea reported about 4.8 million "fever cases" across its mostly unvaccinated population of 26 million but only identified a fraction of them as COVID-19. It claimed just 74 people have died, which experts see as an abnormally small number considering the country's lack of public health tools.

Kim's declaration of victory over COVID-19 during a national meeting in Pyongyang was followed by a combative speech from his powerful sister, who said Kim had suffered a fever himself while steering the anti-virus campaign and laid dubious blame against South Korea while vowing deadly retaliation.

North Korea claims that its initial infections were caused by anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets and other items carried across the border by balloons launched by South Korean activists, a claim the South has described as "ridiculous" and unscientific. There are concerns that Kim Yo Jong's comments portend a provocation, possibly a nuclear or missile test or even border skirmishes.

There are also worries that the North may try to stir up tensions as South Korea and the United States hold their biggest combined military training in years to counter the growing North Korean nuclear threat. The Ulchi Freedom Shield exercise, which involves aircraft, tanks and warships, continues in South Korea through Sept. 1.

Diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang to defuse the nuclear standoff has stalled since 2019 over disagreements in exchanging crippling U.S.-led sanctions against the North and the North's denuclearization steps.

COMMENTS

More Related News

North Korea conducts 4th round of missile tests in 1 week
North Korea conducts 4th round of missile tests in 1 week
  • World
  • 2022-10-02 14:19:16Z

It is North Korea's fourth round of weapons launches this week and seen as a response to nearby military drills by the U.S. and its allies.

S. Korean activists clash with police over anti-Kim balloons
S. Korean activists clash with police over anti-Kim balloons
  • World
  • 2022-10-02 06:42:44Z

South Korean activists say they clashed with police while launching balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda materials across the North Korean border...

What the war in Ukraine means for Asia
What the war in Ukraine means for Asia's climate goals
  • World
  • 2022-10-01 22:18:58Z

The queues outside petrol pumps in Sri Lanka have lessened, but not the anxiety. But for developing countries with already-strained finances, the war is...

S.Korea, U.S. agree to implement liquidity measures if needed
S.Korea, U.S. agree to implement liquidity measures if needed

SEOUL (Reuters) -The United States and South Korea agreed on Saturday to implement liquidity facilities to stabilise financial markets if needed, Korea's...

North Korea fires fourth round of ballistic missiles this week
North Korea fires fourth round of ballistic missiles this week
  • World
  • 2022-10-01 01:55:09Z

North Korea fired its fourth round of ballistic missiles in the past week on Saturday local time, the State Department confirmed. A State Department...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • canadian discount pharmacies
    (2022-09-05 00:08:27Z)

    mexican pharmacy canada pharmacy online viagra low price viagra
    buy cialis online cialis mexico pharmacy cialis from canadian pharmacies

    REPLY
  • wzjko68kk22
    (2022-09-10 14:35:52Z)

    ci0lpr7kgce canadian pharmacies shipping to usa cialis without a doctor's prescription prescriptions canada canadian pharmacy cialis for daily use canadian drug company
    purchase cialis from canada viagra generic canada canadian drug best canadian pharmacies shipping to usa buy drugs
    get viagra canada pharmacies online viagra tablet buy cialis from us pharmacy cheap viagra india

    REPLY
  • fyd2d2yd3ua
    (2022-09-11 01:10:25Z)

    kqf4gzsi9ec cheap viagra generic metoprolol discount rx drugs walmart viagra price viagra online order
    viagra alternative canada drugs cialis online viagra canada free sample viagra buy real viagra online
    cialis pills canada pharmacy for cialis canadian pharmacy online cialis-canadian pharmacy viagra canada with prescription

    REPLY
  • zghyx1wrtmk
    (2022-09-29 19:15:22Z)

    cpf0ji7i94z online drugs buy propecia can women take viagra price viagra canadian pharmacy.reviews
    order viagra without prescription canadian viagra online pharmacy reviews prescription drugs canada viagra brand sale real cialis
    cialis cheap viagra from canada buy cialis online canada viagra cheapest price viagra doses

    REPLY

Top News: World