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North Korea’s COVID-19 Nightmare Is About to Begin

Just how bad could things get? After two years of denial, admitted its first COVID-19 case on May 12 and imposed a nationwide lockdown in response. The regime’s public admission and draconian response suggests the situation was too severe to remain concealed. Within a day, Pyongyang revealed the epidemic had been raging for weeks and already affected hundreds of thousands of people.

North Korea is one of only two nations in the world to have not inoculated any of its citizens. The country’s rudimentary heath care system, emaciated population, and lack of medical supplies make it dangerously vulnerable to a dire pandemic crisis.

The international community will likely reiterate offers of assistance, but the regime rejected all previous proposals. Any distribution of international aid would be hampered the departure in March 2021 of all nongovernment organizations from North Korea.

At a May 12 Politburo meeting, North Korean leader Kim

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