June 30, 2021
Accident of an unspecified nature in North Korea. Dictator Kim Jong-un (appeared emaciated in the last public issue, ed) denounced that there was a “serious accident” linked to Covid-19 and accused some officials of being “incapable and irresponsible” because they neglected the implementation of restrictive measures on the pandemic.
The KCNA, the official Korean central news agency, did not provide further details, but said that the incident caused a “serious crisis” for the safety of the population. If contagions were to spike it would be potentially devastating for the country as it has an outdated health care system and likely has few vaccines.
North Korea claims that it has no cases of Coronavirus (practically impossible) although it has adopted containment measures so drastic (it has also closed the border with China, its main trading partner) as to worsen the already serious economic problems due to decades of degrowth. With this half-public admission, the dictator – albeit reluctant to let the world know how he has reduced his country to poverty – perhaps wanted to send a cross-cutting message to the Biden administration to allow more assistance through international organizations such as the World Food Program United Nations. China would also be willing to send aid.
North Korea was expected to receive 1.7 million AstraZeneca vaccines by the end of May, but shipments were halted after the regime refused to follow the organization’s instructions and rules. Soo Kim, a Rand Corp. policy analyst who previously worked at the CIA, noted: “Especially in the case of North Korea – an isolated, severely under-equipped country whose boss doesn’t care about the well-being of the population – it’s just a matter of time: soon the truth can no longer be buried.
Kim Jong-un is concerned about the virus to the extent that it could endanger his health and undermine his legitimacy, but not about the number of cases and deaths “. According to the food and agricultural organization of the United Nations, North Korea has 860,000 tons less food this year, or about 2-3 months of food supplies for the whole country, with famine harvests and reduced imports. To complicate the picture, the official media campaign against vaccines. The media loyal to the dictator are claiming that they are useless as they are ineffective against the new variants of Covid, but it is an attempt to hide the lack of doses due to Kim Jong-un’s prohibitions.