The regime of Kim Jong-un clamped emergency in Kaesong after a man, suspected of being Coronavirus infected, came there. North Korea had taken steps in the initial stages of coronavirus to ensure that the infection does not spread. The authorities had closed the border it shares with China. It had also quarantined foreigners present in the country at the time and claimed it was free from the threat. However, the situation appears to have changed because of this person. He is a man of North Korea who had defected to the South sometime back and has now returned illegally. Once confirmed, it would be the first case in the country.

Until now, it had not given much importance to the threat but it is now worried.

The Guardian says Kim Jong-un lost no time in convening an emergency politburo meeting. The official news agency described it as a “critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country.” The suspect crossed the fortified border that divides the two Koreas and entered the town of Kaesong.

He displayed symptoms of the disease, which was not a favorable sign.

Emergency in North Korea over coronavirus

KCNA admitted about an emergency event in Kaesong city. It involved a runaway who had gone to the South three years ago. The Guardian mentions that he returned on 19 July illegally and it is possible that he is infected with the dreaded virus.

There is no confirmation on whether he had undergone necessary tests but he displayed symptoms. That prompted officials to put him in quarantine and investigate persons he might have been in contact with. This is because of the contagious nature of the disease. The authorities are investigating the re-entry of the individual into North Korea through heavily guarded borders.

Seoul is also trying to identify the person.

North Korea might need humanitarian assistance

The Guardian quotes an analyst saying – “It’s an ice-breaking moment for North Korea to admit a case. It could be reaching out to the world for help. Perhaps for humanitarian assistance.” The analyst is Choo Jae-woo, a professor at a university in Seoul. The country is facing economic pressure due to sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear program. Kim Jong-un has met Donald Trump three times to resolve the issue of denuclearization but there appears to be a stalemate.

The first time they met in Singapore. There were expectations but nothing tangible emerged even after subsequent meetings in Hanoi and the demilitarized zone DMZ. North Korea could be relying on coronavirus to seek humanitarian assistance from other countries and come out of the shackle of sanctions. It has already received an abundant number of coronavirus testing kits from Russia and others. However, in order to tackle an issue like the pandemic, it would require much more assistance.

Lockdown in Kaesong, the border city of North Korea

According to the BBC, the first suspected case of coronavirus in North Korea has Kim Jong-un worried. He conducted an emergency meeting with top officials and imposed a lockdown in Kaesong.

It is a city on the border. At the meeting of the politburo, Kim Jong-un indicated the requirement of a "maximum emergency system" to contain the virus. The secretive state has not reported any case until now but, in the opinion of analysts, that is unlikely. The pandemic has gone global and people are dying in thousands. Therefore, when a country like North Korea makes a claim of no presence of coronavirus, it sounds strange. This is more so when one takes into consideration the ground realities. It is a highly secretive state and outsiders have limited access to the goings-on in the country. Therefore, one has to rely on information released through official channels.

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