Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

CORONAVIRUS EXECUTION?: North Korea reportedly shoots official dead after he breaks quarantine

CORONAVIRUS EXECUTION?: North Korea reportedly shoots official dead after he breaks quarantine

"The North Korean authorities have told FAO that there are no cases of the new coronavirus, but we are suspicious of such claims", Bir Mandal of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization told Korea Biomed, the Mirror reported.

State media reported that North Korea's Red Cross Society had been deployed to "relevant areas" around the country to conduct public education campaigns and to monitor people with possible symptoms.

The execution came on the heels of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's decision to close off its borders to China on January 30 and impose "rule by military law".

"The United States is ready and prepared to expeditiously facilitate the approval of assistance from these organizations", she said in a statement.

The United States eased its approach on humanitarian aid a year ago as diplomacy stepped up with North Korea on its nuclear program but it still maintains tough restrictions, including a ban on all travel to the country by USA citizens.

The United States released a statement Thursday offering to help USA and global organizations in North Korea contain the spread of the virus.

Already one of the most closed-off countries in the world, North Korea has stopped airline flights and train service with its neighbours, established weeks-long mandatory quarantines for recently arrived foreigners, suspended worldwide tourism, and imposed a near-complete lockdown on cross-border travel.

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He also instituted military law to keep people in isolation during the quarantine period.

The trade official was arrested and immediately shot for visiting a public bath while he was meant to be in quarantine, the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported.

But there may yet be hope for the reportedly executed trade official, as news of officials being executed or punished in North Korea has been wrong in the past.

If hit by the outbreak, experts fear the country would be unable to handle the scale of the infection rate.

"An epidemic would be, as the regime itself realised, a matter of national survival".

Nagi Shafik, former project manager for the World Health Organization's office in Pyongyang, said North Korean authorities would need supplies such as masks, antivirals and antibiotics.

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