North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has declared a state of emergency in the border town of Kaesong after suspicion of coronavirus - the first recognized in the country - was discovered. Reuters reported it with the reference to the North Korea state media.
"An emergency event happened in Kaesong City where a runaway who went to the south three years ago, a person who is suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus returned on July 19 after illegally crossing the demarcation line," the DPRK state media reported.
After several medical examinations of secretions from his upper respiratory organs and blood, an uncertain result was obtained. This prompted officials to isolate the person and investigate all kinds of contacts, and Kim Jong-un to convene the Politburo about this.
If confirmed, the coronavirus will be the first case officially recognized by North Korean authorities.
Kyung Hee University professor Chu Jae Woo believes the message is important not only because North Korea first reported a suspected case of coronavirus, but also because it admitted it needed the rest of the world to help.
As we reported before, the DPRK leadership seeks to increase the nuclear power of its army and, at an expanded meeting, considered new policy directions to further increase nuclear deterrence, as well as to bring strategic forces to high alert.