Two and a half years behind most of the world, North Korea faces an inevitable omicron explosion within its hermetic borders. In a sign of the seriousness of the situation, Kim Jong Un criticized this Sunday with extreme harshness his Government and the public health sector for “irresponsible management” of the pandemic of covid-19 -which since its official appearance in the country has killed 50 people-, also ordering the immediate mobilization of the Army.
The Korean regime is going through a crisis that could lead to a massacre, one of the few that have been made public abroad. Aware of this, the Supreme Chief denounced at a meeting of the Politburo that the pharmacies were not open 24 hours a day and the fact that drug supply officials “have not rolled up their sleeves and have not adequately assessed the severity of the current crisis”.
The fact that North Korea lack of medical resources is no surprise. But given the opacity of the regime, that it be the dictator himself who pronounces on this thorny issue, acquires maximum relevance. Kim Jong Un denounced the deficiencies of some state institutions and decreed the mobilization of the personnel of the Popular Army to face the shortage of drugs. A way of showing his population that he is busy on the front lines of the pandemic, which he described as “the most important challenge” that the regime has suffered since its foundation more than 70 years ago.
Now the first figures are known. Despite massive containment measures by land, sea and air, 1,213,550 people have been infected, 50 have died and 564,860 are receiving medical treatmentaccording to the state agency KCNA, which does not specifically cite Covid-19 but refers to it as “fever”.
The funny thing is that the omicron outbreak, damaging enough to declare a “major national emergency”, did not prevent North Korea from continuing to conduct missile tests into the sea.
According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, the Hermit Kingdom has asked China for help to fight his first wave. It is not known if the request is for vaccination doses, tests or medications. But the truth is that Pyongyang has not officially responded to the renewed offer. of the South Korean president to deliver vaccines this Monday. Yoon Suk Yeolwhich plans to receive Joe Biden in Seoul on Friday, he was willing to offer drugs, as well as vaccines and even medical personnel to his neighbor, which for the moment seems to prefer the help of its main economic partner, China.
The impoverished nation is suffering from insufficient supplies due to the border blockade. “Families of patients have to buy supplies on the black market, and doctors are forced to practice clandestine care to make a living,” he says. Sokeel ParkDirector of the organization “Liberty in North Korea”.
If the spread of the epidemic accelerates, hospitals will be very saturated. There are no hospital centers with intensive care units in rural areas or in small towns, where most of the country’s 25 million people live.
During the last two and a half years, this country has consistently rejected vaccination offers from the World Health Organization, China, and Russia. In addition, it does not have the large specialized refrigerators to store the most effective vaccines against the disease, such as those from Pfizer and Moderna. All this suggests that North Koreans are not immunized.
The military parade organized on April 25 could have been the origin and acted as a super spreader. Thousands of Koreans celebrated that day 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army. Neither the participants nor the spectators wore masks. The public crowded the square Kim Il Sung of Pyongyang to watch soldiers go by and cheer as tanks, rocket launchers and large intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.