North Korea is heading for a humanitarian disaster by the coronavirus. The need is so high that leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday in the state media admitted that his country has no modern medical facilities. He insists that the coronavirus North Korea has not yet affected.
There are indications of outbreaks, such as the suspension of military training and calling on South Korea to provide corona tests Pyongyang.
Recognize that the state fails in the closed dictatorship rare. “Our party (…) criticized in heartbreaking fashion that there is no modern medical facility, even in our capital city,” state news agency KCNA quoted Kim. Possibly this is a start of a propaganda offensive around a new hospital in the capital Pyongyang. Delivery is scheduled for October, during the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party, the party of the Kim dynasty.
Kim made his comments during the driving of the first pile at a construction site of the new hospital. At the first sign of outbreak in China in late December has already decided to build. Pyongyang took measures at an early stage of the epidemic in China, which have 80 thousand people made ill. Foreign tourism was banned, schools remained closed, hundreds of thousands of foreign diplomats and citizens were quarantined.
Pyongyang has no danger to fear from the South Korean epidemic eight thousand infections, because the border is shut tight. The Chinese border is porous. Traders from both countries shuttling up and down and so could easily keep up the virus. That means a death sentence for the more than 25 million-strong population. Some 40 percent of North Koreans have poor resistance and growth delays caused by years of malnutrition during famines. When weak is the coronavirus harder.
Health care is so flawed that North Korea is virtually no chance for an epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, there are 135 hospitals. Pyongyang has the party elite of modern facilities in the rest of the country the situation is pitiful. If there is a hospital, then struggling with shortages of water, electricity, medicines and disinfectants.
The international sanctions against the North Korean nuclear program, the country will not receive goods or foreign currencies. Hence allies China and Russia in December at the United Nations insisted on relieving sanctions on North Korean exports. Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN special human rights envoy for North Korea, early early March because the coronavirus already have access to medical and humanitarian experts to North Korea.