September 19, 2019 12:19
North Korea has failed to respond to requests from Seoul for cooperation in fighting African swine fever that spilled over into South Korea this week.
Quarantine cooperation was one of the agreements in the inter-Korean declaration signed in September 2018, when President Moon Jae-in visited the North.
"On Wednesday morning we notified the North through the Inter-Korean Liaison Office of the outbreak of ASF here and the need for quarantine cooperation," Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Sang-min said.
But the North gave no immediate response. When Pyongyang reported the outbreak of ASF case there to an international agency in late May, Seoul also proposed cooperation but got no answer.
Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul on Wednesday claimed that the chances of the disease spreading from the North are slim. "We've taken several steps to prevent the transmission of the disease from wild boars" that roam across the demilitarized zone, he claimed. "Experts are also denying the possibility."
But wild boars seem the likeliest cause of the outbreaks confirmed this week in South Korea's Gyeonggi Province since quarantine is poorly enforced in the North.
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