While coronavirus has affected more than 190 countries and territories around the globe, North Korea still not publicly confirmed a single case. As per international media reports, North Korea has doubled down on its missile development and military exercises in recent weeks, while other countries are battling to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Many international experts are now skeptical of North Korea’s assertion that it has not had a single case of coronavirus.
According to international media reports, North Korea rebased almost all the foreigners it quarantined as a precaution. Amid the unprecedented outbreak, the country also announced that it would hold a big gathering of its Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) in early April. While speaking to an international media outlet, Duyeon Kim, who is a senior advisor to the International Crisis Group think-tank, said that Kim Jong Un is trying to show his confidence and strength to his people.
Duyeon further added that Kim is also trying to show that the regime is functioning normally by pursuing its strategic objectives despite the national crisis over a virus they have no control over. Duyeon said that Kim is trying to show that North Korea is invincible in a bid to keep his constituents in Pyongyang happy. Meanwhile, a report from a ruling party newspaper in North Korea said that a local party official had been punished for undermining nationwide coronavirus prevention measures by organising drinking parties.
Even though some foreigners have reportedly said the North Korea’s government is actually well placed as it has been successful in slowing the spread of the virus, aid organisations, on the other hand, warned that the county’s health system is chronically under-resourced, often fails to meet the daily needs of citizens. The aid organisation reportedly said that North Korea could have dire consequences due to a poor health system and shortage of medical supplies. The organisation further added that it would be hard-pressed for North Korea to handle any major outbreak of coronavirus, which has infected more than 351,000 people and claimed nearly 15,332 lives around the globe.