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UN’s concern on COVID-19 in North Korea

Posted April. 06, 2020 07:51,   

Updated April. 06, 2020 07:51


The world is staggering with COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases exceeded a million across the world, and the economic crisis is becoming a reality. But North Korea has been highlighting that it is free of the novel coronavirus.

The global community has growing concerns on the secluded country regarding the virus. The UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea reportedly started to work on improving systems to provide humanitarian support to the country at the end of last month. An approval of exemption from the committee is needed to provide sanctioned items to North Korea, but the committee decided to reduce the period of approval from five business days to two. An insider of diplomacy circles views this as a result of heightened level of concerns towards infection in North Korea as the committee, which monitors violation of sanctions, decided to accommodate the needs of the country.

The global community is recently collaborating to provide support to North Korea to tackle the virus pandemic. The sanctions committee website published four cases of exemption, which specified humanitarian aid for COVID-19 quarantine.

The U.S. used to express its intention to provide aid to North Korea and is now sure that there are infected cases in North Korea. “I can tell you that is an impossible claim based on all of the intel that we have seen,” Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of US Forces Korea, said in an interview with media outlets including CNN on Thursday.

North Korea has long been telling far-fetched stories. But its stance on COVID-19 can be a crisis not only to itself, but also to the global community. The borders between North Korea and China are closed now due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the borders cannot be closed forever when COVID-19 cases decrease in China and North Korea ’s lack of domestic goods become severe.

During the negotiation process on denuclearization in 2018, North Korea showed its intention to become a member of the global community. But if the nation keeps its suspicious stance on COVID-19, it would not be able to earn trust from the global community. Hopefully, North Korea takes a more open stance on COVID-19 before it is too late.