Kim Jong-Un’s Secret Request to China Revealed
(UnitedVoice.com) – In the late winter of 2019 and through the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. It started in Wuhan, China, and spread globally, causing national economies to shut down almost entirely in the spring of 2020. Yet, North Korea has refused to publicly admit that COVID struck its citizens throughout the last two years.
In April, the communist country held a massive military parade. In May, Pyongyang announced that COVID hit its country hard for the first time. Officials said the Omicron variant spread through the military parade and beyond. Now, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports that Pyongyang is seeking help from China, its closest neighbor and only friend in the region.
North Korea Elicited Help From China
In September 2021, North Korea rejected 3 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from China, with officials saying other countries needed it more than it did. In May, Pyongyang issued a maximum emergency declaration as almost 3 million North Koreans reported COVID-19 symptoms. The government began isolating people to control the spread, but RFA said the country’s health care system is woefully inadequate and can’t withstand the impact of a real pandemic.
With no ability to handle the situation, the ruling Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee reached out for help. A source told RFA that the government asked China to provide the country with vaccines, protective clothing, masks, face shields, and medical equipment and help with biological research.
According to Reuters, in recent months, Chinese data revealed that Pyongyang imported millions of masks, 1,000 ventilators, and vaccines from China ahead of the April military parade. In February, China sent $311,126 of vaccines to North Korea. North Korea also purchased 10.6 million masks from China from January to April. It hadn’t bought any in 2021.
A diplomat told Reuters that three planes from North Korea’s Air Koryo flew to China and returned to Pyongyang with the supplies.
Kim Wants to Learn From China
RFA said on May 14, North Korea’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper said North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un ordered the country to learn from China’s quarantine policies to control the outbreak of COVID-19. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Chinese Communist government would offer to support and strengthen relations during the outbreak.
Although North Korea has only confirmed five cases of COVID-19, state media reported 2.9 million people contracted high fevers, and 68 deaths among those. Approximately 2.5 million people recovered, and more than 400,000 are still receiving treatment. Still, Reuters expressed deep skepticism that morbidity and mortality rates dramatically dropped after the government enacted its maximum emergency epidemic prevention.
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