Coronavirus in North Korea: Hermit Nation Opens Up About Major Outbreaks
For the first time since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic the isolated country of North Korea has opened up about a new major outbreak that seems to be devastating the country. This comes after a long-time silence from the government who has not seen the exposure of the virus within the country since it first began to spread into the international community. While this may be surprising considering their neighbors have felt the effects of the pandemic in full swing, the culture and closed off nature of the country gives a clue. The lack of both the exposure and lack of needed infrastructure presents a dangerous issue for the nation. North Korea itself has had a history of severe underdevelopment in areas such as medicine and food security, and a major outbreak of any disease could turn catastrophic for the country’s population.
Kim-Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, set up a special commission to deal with the problem as these cases are the first reported in the country. They called for cooperation between the people and the government to deal with the outbreak as they institute large scale lockdowns for the foreseeable future. The one advantage the country has is that they are now able to look at other places policies to try and dictate what their own will be and how they will approach a solution. Further than this as well the authoritarian nature of the government gives them more options in enforcing their mandates and the will of the state compared to other nations that can only act in accordance with the rights of people.
On the other hand, if the outbreak is not dealt, the previously mentioned lack of concrete medical care could prove devastating to the historically malnourished and infrastructure deficient nation. The isolation and antagonistic nature of the government has caused many issues with global humanitarian institutions that otherwise could provide the needed help. Further than this the lack of vaccinations or proper protection could and likely will further it’s spread and devastation throughout the countryside. This is the two-fold issue that North Korea will likely face, as the way they behave in an international context makes it hard for nations to work with them, but also their lack of supply makes them reliant on other countries. What exact measures the nation will enact in a long-term solution like the rest of the world has had to deal with is not yet ironed out and only the future will tell both the extent of the outbreak and how North Korea will handle it.