North Korea’s Pandemic Conundrum: Self-Containment and Humanitarian Crisis


North Korea acknowledged its healthcare crisis this May and retreated to the Zero-COVID policy under self-containment, which they adopted in early 2020. Pyongyang also perceived economic stresses when they decided to loosen border control on trade with China last autumn. Since Kim Jong Un and other leaders of North Korea declared an extreme national emergency regarding COVID-19 just after acknowledging the pandemic cases, a humanitarian crisis has loomed. To prevent the crisis, this issue brief posits that the international community should consider providing sufficient necessities to the North Korean people, despite resistance they may face from Pyongyang.

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