DPRK's COVID-19 Outbreak and Its Response   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "In this essay, Shin Yeong-jeon notes that both the DPRK [North Korea] and the United States say 'No Problem' when it comes to the Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic in the DPRK: 'The DPRK is voicing 'No Problem' despite the economic sanctions of the United States and the United Nations. The United States also argues that US-led international sanctions are not the cause of humanitarian disasters in the DPRK. This 'No Problem' collusion pattern can invite dangerous consequences, which not only distorts the facts but can also lead to many victims, making intervention difficult by missing confirmation timing for catastrophic situations such as famine. This is similar to the 'No Problem' collusion pattern in the North Korean famine of the late 1990s.' In light of the DPRK's emerging Covid-19 and food crises, he concludes that 'The DPRK needs to establish a more open cooperation system with the international community including the ROK and the United States. The United States also needs to make sure that the DPRK is not in extreme situations or makes its worst choices. To this end, it is necessary to change the policy on the Korean Peninsula that the Obama and Trump administrations took in the past, and the core of this is to proceed with step-by-step denuclearization while opening the possibility of peace and prosperity through the vitalization of exchanges between the two Koreas.'"

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