Is There Coronavirus in North Korea?


On February 7th, Daily NK announced the first case of coronavirus in North Korea, this being despite the fact that North Korea have not announced publicly any instances of the virus.

The report claimed that despite the border being closed (which North Korea were the first country to do) that 5 people had died in the border city of Sinuiju. This in itself would make North Korea, after China the most deadly affected nation by the virus. But as with anything in general, and North Korea in particular, take it with a grain of salt, and always, always check your sources.

The source in question here is the Daily NK. The Daily NK are linked to the US based National Endowment for Democracy, and are by their very nature anti-DPRK.

Being anti-North Korea again does not mean necessarily that what someone writes is false, but the Daily NK have been famous for writing articles that are often unverifiable, based on “anonymous in country sources” and are in fact later debunked, and/ or contradicted by more traditional, and indeed reliable sources.

Combine this with the fact that North Korea has closed its borders, there have been no official reports of any deaths, and no verified sources, and we can only summarize the Daily NK reports as rumors at best.

Whatever your views on North Korea are though it cannot be denied that the country have indeed taken the risks posed by the coronavirus very seriously, being not only the first country to shut its borders, but now insisting on returnees entering a 30 day quarantine period.

Sadly though, and as is often the case the media will use something as traumatic as a potential pandemic as a stick to hit the North Korean regime, rather than see it as a way for nations to come together in crisis.