N.Korea Building 'Coronavirus Wall'

  • By Yang Seung-sik

    November 30, 2020 09:37

    North Korea on Sunday said it is building a wall along the border with South Korea to stem the spread of coronavirus. The Trump-inspired folly aims to put the blame on coronavirus infections in the crackpot country squarely on South Korea and is likely designed for propaganda purposes rather than any practical use.

    The official [North] Korean Central News Agency said "sturdy blockade walls" were set up along the inter-Korean border and people are "abiding by mandatory procedures" and "immediately responding to the slightest abnormal phenomenon."

    Earlier this month, a North Korean civilian crossed over the border to defect to South Korea, but even without the wall the demilitarized zone remains largely impenetrable while the border with China, though sealed, remains more porous and the epidemic probably reached the North from there.

    KCNA said "stricter entry procedures" have also been established along the coast while "debris from the ocean is collected and disposed of."

    North Koreans carry out construction work along the inter-Korean border in North Hwanghae Province in this undated photo. /Yonhap

    The National Intelligence Service told lawmakers last week that the North is coming up with "absurd" quarantine measures. It has apparently left food aid shipments from China to rot for fear that they are somehow contaminated. It also stopped fishing and producing salt due to unfounded fears that the virus could spread through seawater.

    Yet shops and restaurants in Pyongyang are reportedly operating normally, and according to a North Korean mouthpiece in Japan, the Choson Sinbo, saunas are in high demand in Pyongyang.

    Tens of thousands of North Korean attended a military parade in Pyongyang in October without masks. The North officially claims that there has not been a single case of infection, though sources have mentioned oddly specific numbers of infections and deaths ranging in the thousands.

    Earlier the North released thousands of malnourished prisoners from labor camps because it felt unable to look after them any more.

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