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North Korea May Be Trapped Between Famine and Plague

Added 05-16-22 05:34:02pm EST - “As COVID-19 sweeps through the country, outside help is desperately needed.” - Foreignpolicy.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Foreignpolicy.com: “North Korea May Be Trapped Between Famine and Plague”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

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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