Here, according to experts, is the event that caused the spread of the coronavirus in North Korea

North Korea announced its first death from Covid-19 on Friday, saying the virus has already spread across the country, with a “fever” having “spread explosively throughout the country from the end of April,” according to the official KCNA news agency.

For Hong Min, a researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification, based in Seoul, the current Covid-19 epidemic is “closely linked to the April 25 parade”, a gigantic military parade on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.

isopix

Footage of the event broadcast by state television shows thousands of people – unmasked and without social distancing – crowded into Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to watch soldiers parade and cheer as tanks, launchers and rockets and large intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

“More than 20,000 people prepared for the parade two months before the event and stayed in the capital for photo ops with Kim Jong Un,” Hong Min told AFP.

According to him, Kim Jong Un’s regime only seems to have “realized the seriousness” of the situation late and carried out Covid-19 screening tests after the parade participants returned to their districts.

“Holding a military parade in the presence of a large crowd, while the Omicron variant was raging in neighboring China, shows that Pyongyang was overconfident in its ability to fight and prevent the virus,” said Cheong Seong- chang, from the Sejong Institute.

The reclusive country reported its first cases of coronavirus on Thursday and declared a national lockdown. Six people with “fever” have died in the country, including one who tested positive for Omicron’s BA.2 subvariant, according to the official KCNA news agency.

None of the country’s 25 million population is vaccinated against the coronavirus, with Pyongyang rejecting vaccination offers from the World Health Organization, China and Russia.


President Yoo Suk-yeol has offered to provide Pyongyang with Covid-19 vaccines and other medical care, his office said on Friday. A presidential spokesman said the South Korean leader hoped to discuss details with his northern counterpart.

Currently, it is not known if North Korea has asked for help or if the two countries have already contacted about it. The situation on the Korean peninsula is tense due to a series of ballistic missile tests carried out by North Korea.

Leave a Comment