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Whether it’s Iran, China, Cuba, or immigration, U.S. President Joe Biden often finds himself stymied by his predecessor’s foreign policy.
Analysis: North Korea May Be Trapped Between Famine and Plague North Korea May Be Trapped Between Famine ... | View Comments ()
Back in January 2020, North Korea looked on with concern as a then-novel coronavirus epidemic emerged in China. Preventing the spread of this virus beyond China’s borders was a matter of “national survival,” Rodong Sinmun, the ruling Workers’ Party’s official newspaper, said.
For 28 months afterwards, North Korea implausibly reported zero cases of COVID-19—even as the virus tore through the rest of the world. Like the Chinese Communist Party next door, the Workers’ Party of Korea opted to pursue a zero-COVID strategy premised on sealing off the country’s borders. Unlike China, enforcement consisted of, among other measures, shoot-on-sight orders.
The zero-case claim came to a screeching halt last week as the country reported the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19—and the BA.2 subvariant—within its borders. Not a single North Korean citizen is known to have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and with no confirmed previous COVID-19 cases, it’s unlikely that any natural immunity to earlier coronavirus variants exists either.
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