Medicenes San Frontiers (MSF), or as they are known in English, Doctors Without Borders have been granted “sanctions exemption” to help North Korea deal with the ongoing coronavirus.
The exemption for MSF will mean that they are able to provide essentially equipment and personal for the diagnosis, and control of the (almost) global pandemic that is coronavirus.
The news comes as the North Korean government has begun to tighten controls in the country to warn off the ongoing threat of coronavirus by banning people from eating in public restaurants, and cancelling mass events, such as the Pyongyang Marathon.
This follows on from Russia ships recently delivering 1500 coronavirus Rapid Diagnostic Kits to the country.
Officially there have yet to be any known cases of coronavirus in the DPRK, despite much rumor, and insinuation from sources outside of the country.
Now while of of this is good news, and will undoubtedly help North Korea fight coronavirus, the big question that remains is why did they need special permission to do so?
One can argue left, right, and centre about the morality, and indeed effectiveness of sanctions, but when humanitarian organizations, and NGO’s need special permission to enter the country, in order to help fight a global pandemic, you have to say enough is enough!
Even if you ignore the sanctions as whole argument, the sheer severity of the sanctions imposed on North Korea have been unparalleled in the history of the United Nations. And if you ever had any doubt about this fact, let the fact that Doctors Without Borders needed “special” permission from the UN to enter the country.
We have spoken in a previous article about why there should be sanctions relief immediately in North Korea due the coronavirus.
One can only hope that at some point, someone with some humanity actually takes some action on this.