U.S. says it's ready to help North Korea combat virus

North Korean nat’l suspected with coronavirus murdered

"Recent engine testing suggests North Korea may be prepared to flight-test even more capable ICBM design that could enhance Kim's ability to threaten our homeland during a crisis or conflict", he said.

Since the coronavirus outbreak late a year ago, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has severely restricted crossings at the northern border with China last month and instituted military law to keep people in isolation during the quarantine period and to not visit public spaces for precautionary reasons.

The United States has expressed deep concern about North Korea's vulnerability to the outbreak of a new virus and says it's ready to support efforts by US and worldwide aid organizations to contain the spread of the illness in the impoverished nation.

World Health Organization officials based in Pyongyang said they had not been notified of any confirmed cases but their data relies on reports provided by the North Korean government.

Voicing alarm and deep concern over North Korea's inability to counter the deadly disease, which has killed hundreds and sickened tens of thousands, the United States also urged worldwide aid organisations to come forward in this cause.

So far North Korea has taken drastic measures to stop the deadly virus spreading over its border with China.

The report by state media didn't confirm the country's previous quarantine period, but the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang said in a Facebook post earlier this month that North Korea was putting foreign visitors under a 15-day quarantine.

Already one of the most closed-off countries in the world, North Korea has stopped airline flights and train service with its neighbours, established weeks-long mandatory quarantines for recently arrived foreigners, suspended global tourism, and imposed a near-complete lockdown on cross-border travel.

A North Korean trade official has reportedly been executed by firing squad for going to a public bath, in violation of his coronavirus quarantine after having returned from China.

Supreme leader Jung-un had previously vowed to "rule by military law" against those who left quarantine without approval.

"An epidemic would be, as the regime itself realised, a matter of national survival". "They would be ill-equipped to deal with any kind of epidemic".



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