March 19, 2020 13:03
Despite sealing its borders and halting all trade with China, major cities in North Korea have been hit by the coronavirus epidemic, according to witness accounts.
Christian group Voice of the Martyrs Korea that proselytizes in North Korea said an underground North Korean church member told it that the virus has spread widely in Pyongyang and the border town of Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province. "The situation is so desperate that it is just a matter of dying from starvation or infection," the member wrote.
North Korea claims it has not a single confirmed case of coronavirus, but experts believe that the epidemic has spread significantly there.
U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Robert Abrams said last week that he is "fairly certain" coronavirus has already spread to North Korea.
Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the ground-breaking ceremony of a general hospital in Pyongyang on Tuesday, according to state media.
Kim had been spending time on the east coast since late February before returning to the capital. Kim said at the ceremony that the hospital "must be completed in time for the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the [Worker's] party," which is Oct. 10.
That leaves workers just 200 days to complete construction.
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