Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Saturday, June 6, 2020 08:29:24 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Zero coronavirus cases in North Korea?

photo by AP photo

Kim said it has released almost all the foreigners it quarantined as a precaution.

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

North Korea has said it has released almost all the foreigners it quarantined as a precaution.
With international focus on the coronavirus, North Korea has doubled down on its missile development and military exercises in recent weeks while signalling new confidence that it has dodged an outbreak of its own.
Some international experts are sceptical of North Korea's assertion that it has not had a single case of the new coronavirus, which was first detected in neighbouring China.
But for the first time since late February, North Korean soldiers conducting military drills and test firing short-range ballistic missiles over the weekend were shown not wearing face masks in state media photographs.
North Korea has said it has released almost all the foreigners it quarantined as a precaution, and in a decision that surprised some experts, announced it would hold a big gathering of its Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) in early April.
"I'm a bit surprised that North Korea decided to go ahead with its spring SPA session," said Rachel Minyoung Lee, a Seoul-based analyst for NK News, a website that monitors North Korea. "That said, this is in line with an apparent shift in North Korean media handling of the coronavirus in the past two weeks which suggested the North Korean regime's increased confidence in managing the coronavirus situation."
Besides the SPA announcement, leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, released a statement through state media on Sunday commenting on US President Donald Trump's latest letter to North Korea, offering coronavirus assistance.
But much of the messaging from Kim Jong Un appears "laser focused" at the domestic audience, said Duyeon Kim, a senior adviser to the International Crisis Group think-tank.
"He's apparently trying to show his confidence and strength to his people, that he is in control, and that the regime is functioning normally by pursuing its strategic objectives despite a national crisis over a virus they have no control over," she said.
"He needs to keep his constituents in Pyongyang happy and trying to show North Korea is invincible."
State media has broadcast a stream of reports on how seriously the government is taking its virus-prevention efforts.
One report in the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Monday, for example, said a local party official had been punished for undermining nationwide coronavirus prevention measures by organising drinking parties.
"Under the present situation that witnesses intensified campaign against COVID-19, it comes to be an important political matter that all the people should observe the standards and orders set under the state emergency anti-epidemic system," the paper said in an editorial, referring to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Some foreign observers have noted that North Korea's authoritarian government is actually well placed to impose the kind of restrictions that have been successful in slowing the spread of infections in other countries, and that it has a high number of doctors per capita.
But aid organisations have warned that North Korea's health system is chronically under-resourced, often fails to meet the daily needs of citizens, and would be hard-pressed to handle any major outbreak of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 337,000 people and killed more than 14,650 around the world.
"Hearing from my relatives there, one thing for sure is the situation is very serious," said a North Korean defector living in South Korea.
"Otherwise they wouldn't be so loud on the news about this. There is no way for the residents to know who died."
The insistence on no coronavirus cases, the SPA presidium and the missile tests were intended to show it was business as usual in North Korea, said Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea expert at King's College London.
"Kim Jong Un is trying really hard to project the image that all is good," Pardo said in a post on Twitter.

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Agreement on Feni River without Teesta is unacceptable

THE Indian government's latest position to secure a lasting water sharing agreement on Feni River sidetracking commitment for signing a simultaneous agreement on Teesta River as reported by an English daily on Friday is clearly an unexpected and unwelcomed move. Without Teesta we can't go for Feni River. Teesta water ...

Entertainment »

Priyanka`s new songs during lockdown

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Priyanka Biswas is a talented singer of this generation who won hearts of many music-lovers by her melodious voice. The music-lovers were impressed to hear her songs. Few days ago, Priyanka-Apu Aman rendered a duet song titled Jabena Chhere was released on YouTube channel of Dhruba Music ...

Business & Economy »

DCCI opens `SME Development Department` to facilitate CMSMEs

Economic Reporter :Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI), the largest SME representative trade organization in the country, launched 'SME Development Department' to facilitate its Cottage, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (CMSMEs).Officials of the DCCI said they have relentlessly been working for the development of cottage, micro, small and medium ...

City »

Secretary General of Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity Mozammel Haque Chowdhury speaking at a press conference in DRU auditorium on Friday for unveiling report of road accidents in Eid journey.


Editorial »

Education needs more allocation in budget to adapt with the new normal

A recent study revealed that the closure of educational institutions due to the coronavirus pandemic, dropout rates will increase significantly at schools which will subsequently cause a rise in child marriage, early pregnancy and child labour. Educationists demanded more budgetary allocation for education sector as part of two/three-year-long Covid-19 response ...

Cricket »

Spinners have chance to shine during saliva ban: Kumble

Cricket chief Anil Kumble hopes a ban on using saliva to shine the ball after the coronavirus shutdown could see a resurgence of spin bowling in Test cricket.The International Cricket Council is expected to order a temporary ban next week on using spit as a shining agent, as part of ...

Entertainment »

Runa Laila getting response for her composed two songs

Entertainment Report :At the end of last year, internationally renowned singer Runa Laila’s two songs were released in two separate YouTube channels. She lent her vocal for a song while noted Indian singer Asha Bhosle rendered another song. In last year November, Runa Laila composed her second song titled Ferate ...

Entertainment »

Nora Fatehi appeals to citizens to donate PPE kits to aid health care fraternity

Nora Fatehi joins Vidya Balan in urging people to donate PPE kits to help our medical fraternity in this tough time. Recently we all have seen Vidya Balan making a donation and requesting citizens to donate PPE kits for our nation's heroes. Now Nora Fatehi makes her sincere appeals to ...

City »

Members of Bangladesh Navy distributing Personal Protective Equipment to the doctors and nurses at Barguna Sadar Hospital recently to fight coronavirus.

Editorial »

More borrowing by govt will add to per head public debt

THE national budget will be placed before the parliament at a cost of Tk 5.569 trillion on June 11 for fiscal year 2020-21 aiming at a GDP growth of 8.2 per cent. The budget is going to be mainly based on bank and non-bank borrowing and will earmark Tk 635.25 ...

City »

Councilor of 26 No Ward of DSCC Hashibur Rahman Manik handing over vegetables among the low-income people free of cost after inaugurating a 'market for one minute'at Abdul Alim Playground in the city on Wednesday.


Sports »

Sky Brown, 11, targets Olympic gold despite horror

Agency :Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown is still targeting Olympic gold for Britain in Tokyo despite a horrific fall during training in the United States.Brown was rushed to hospital by helicopter after falling in training in California on Thursday.She was reportedly unresponsive on arrival at hospital, with her father Stewart saying ...

Editorial »

Welcome RSC as it takes over factory inspection regime

RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) - a local inspection entity jointly formed by BGMEA and representation of different brands, retailers and trade unions finally started functioning from June 1 taking over from Accord made up by European buyers. The handover basically shows the change of the guard from internationally supervised buyers' ...

City »

Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation Sheikh Fazle Nur Taposh speaking at the first board meeting of the newly elected councilors of DSCC in Mayor Mohammad Hanif Auditorium of Nagar Bhaban on Tuesday.

Sports »

Kutubuddin Ahmed gets Knight Award of Spain

Sports Reporter :Former secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Kutubuddin Ahmed got Knight Award of Spain. It is the highest reward of Spain.Ahmed was one of the organiser of South Asian Games (SA Games) 2010, which was held in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. He distinguished his name ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news