Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) popularly known as North Korea is one of the least visited territories in the world.
It’s also one of the restricted countries in the world. North Korea is Police-state with an authoritarian government with a socialist political view. The Government supervises every activity of the citizens.
North Korea maintains frontier with China, Russia and Korea. Although the main outbreak originated in nearby China, North Korea remained stubborn to share any information regarding the impact on its own territory.
“The infectious disease did not flow into our country yet,” North Korea’s government-controlled Rodong Sinmun newspaper says according to Newsweek.
But Daily NK, a Korea based newspaper, reported that 200 soldiers died of COVID-19 and more than 4000 are under quarantine.
In February, the authority quarantined more than 300 foreign nationals including diplomats and foreign government officials for 30 days. Finally it lifted the quarantine and set them free to leave the country.
What’s the message behind this secrecy?
- To maintain legacy of “secret nation”
- To overshadow its shortcoming
- Not to be called as a “failed state”
Interestingly US President Donald Trump sent a letter to the Chairman of North Korea Kim Jong-un saying to provide assistance to fight against COVID-19 if North Korea needs. Kim in reply expressed his gratitude towards Mr. Trump for this personal letter.
According to Ms. Kim, Mr. Trump also explained his plan to move relations between the two countries forward and “expressed his intent to render cooperation in the anti-epidemic work, saying that he was impressed by the efforts made by the Chairman to defend his people from the serious threat of the epidemic.”
Although the diplomatic relation is vulnerable even after several nuke-talks and deals in the past years, such a warm gesture from the US could probably play a good move to start over the unsettled issues.
As North Korea is highly sanctioned due to its ambitious efforts to have nuclear weapons, receiving aid is very difficult to even in such a big crisis. In March, North Korea opened the borders with China to receive aids even after a complete lockdown.