Secretive nation North Korea has admitted that six people have died from coronavirus amid reports of an 'explosion' of cases in the isolated nation
Kim Jong-Un only acknowledged the outbreak of the virus in his country on Thursday (May 13), more than two and a half years after the global pandemic began in neighbouring China.
Previously, the Supreme Leader had turned down international offers for Covid vaccines as he boasted North Korea was able to keep the virus out in "their style", and tightened up already tough border restrictions.
But he has now ordered harsh national lockdown to cope with rising Omicron cases as he attempts to stop the spread amongst his country's 25 million unvaccinated people, who are already suffering after several years of famine and economic collapse.
A statement from the state-run KCNA news agency read: "A fever whose cause couldn’t be identified explosively spread nationwide from late April”
“Six persons died (one of them tested positive for the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron)”
Some experts believe the 'explosive' spread of the virus in the capital of Pyongyang was worsened by the mass rally held earlier this year, which saw Kim commit to a year of expanding the nation's weapons programme as huge crowds held up party slogans.
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Cheong Seong-Chang, an analyst from South Korea's Sejong Institute, told AFP: "Holding a military parade attended by a large crowd, when Omicron was raging in neighboring China, shows Pyongyang was overconfident in their capabilities to fight and prevent the virus,"
He also predicted that Kim may be forced to go to close ally China — who have also recently imposed a rush of national lockdowns in major cities — if infections get out of hand.
The Chinese border town of Dandong, which is located close to North Korea, is one of the locations that has recently suffered an outbreak.
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