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North Korea did an amazing job of keeping Covid out. Or it lied

World

North Korea did an amazing job of keeping Covid out. Or it lied

For first time since it emerged, Kim Jong-un confirms a case, which could spell disaster in a nation with no vaccines

Jon Herskovitz

Few health experts believe North Korea managed to keep out Covid-19 since early 2020. So when Kim Jong-un confirmed the nation’s first case on Thursday, the question was: “Why now?”

Kim has long trumpeted his virus-control measures as evidence of his nation’s superiority, calling the efforts a “shining success”. He sealed the border, crippling an already anaemic economy and banned athletes from two Olympics. To keep the disease out, his troops even shot, killed and burnt the body of a South Korean government employee who drifted near a nautical border.

All along outsiders speculated that Covid-19 was in North Korea, despite its isolation. The commander of US Forces Korea said as early as July 2020 the virus had almost certainly made its way into the country and China and Russia had reported outbreaks near their borders with North Korea. ..

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