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N Korea reports 'suspected' COVID case in returned defector

N Korea reports 'suspected' COVID case in returned defector”

In January, North Korea had launched the national emergency system against the Covid-19, shut down its borders and tightened quarantine measures, Yonhap reported.

SBS News reports that if confirmed, it would be the first case officially acknowledged by North Korean authorities, who have so far said the country has no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. North Korea has steadfastly said it has no single virus case on its territory, a claim questioned by outside experts.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, convened an emergency politburo meeting on Saturday to implement a "maximum emergency system and issue a top-class alert" to contain the virus, according to the KCNA.

The newspaper reported that the person had defected to South Korea three years ago.

Kaesong, a city with an estimated 200,000 people, is located just north of the heavily fortified land border with South Korea.

Kim declared a state of emergency and imposed a lockdown on the border city of Kaesong, calling it a "critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country", state news agency KCNA reported.

More news: Antibodies Fade a Few Weeks After Mild COVID-19, Study Finds

The KCNA also said that the Central Military Commission of the Worker's Party will "administer a severe punishment and take necessary measures" after an investigation of the military unit responsible for the "loose guard" in the runaway case.

"Blaming an alleged return defector for bringing Covid-19 into the country is likely meant to shift blame for spread of the virus away from China and Pyongyang and on to Seoul", Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said.

North Korea has received thousands of coronavirus testing kits from Russian Federation and other countries, and imposed strict border closures.

Earlier this month Kim warned against any "hasty" relaxation of anti-coronavirus measures, indicating the country will keep its borders closed for the foreseeable future.

The complaint has also requested that nations "immediately exercise enhanced vigilance" in preventing the illegal shipment of petroleum to North Korea, which has been under U.N. Security Council sanctions since 2006, as they have continuously attempted to bolster their nuclear weapons program.



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