An unnamed North Korean defector was shot by Chinese guards during his attempt to cross the Tumen River which divides North Korea from China on April 20. After the man was taken to a hospital as he got injured by the gunshot, he tested positive for the Coronavirus. As per a recent report, he is currently under quarantine.
While Kim Jong-un regime continues to deny any claims related to the Coronavirus cases in the secretive country, this incident provides strong evidence which suggests that North Korea is suffering from a Coronavirus outbreak but still hiding the facts.
North Korea suffering from Coronavirus
Earlier the news agency, Daily NK, reported several suspected outbreaks within North Korea including the recent report which the news outlet received from a Chinese source. In March, it was revealed that 180 North Korean soldiers died after they showed 'coronavirus-like symptoms' between January and February. Reports also revealed that 23 people in North Korea may have also died of Coronavirus but with little or no state healthcare system within the country, confirming cases via testing has been virtually impossible.
After repeated denials by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reports revealed that lecturers have been privately telling local organisations and neighbourhood watch groups that there are cases of COVID-19 in the country. In late March, the North Korean citizens are told that the novel Coronavirus has been spreading in Pyongyang, South Hwanghae province and North Hamgyong province. It should be noted that North Hamgyong is in the northeast region of North Korea, while South Hwanghae is in the southwest -- which showed the scale of distance that the virus has travelled.
However, the lecturers insisted that North Korea has the fewest COVID-19 cases compared to any other country in the world due to its 'superior socialist healthcare system'.
North Korea hiding facts?
It was also revealed that the consumers in North Korea's capital Pyongyang this week have been "panic buying" food items that caused some of the store shelves to go empty. As reported by NK News, panic shopping may indicate a stricter Coronavirus measure on the way for the North Korea capital.
Early reports revealed that initially there was a shortage of fruits and vegetable but soon the shortage of other goods was also noticed in Pyongyang. Last week, Radio Free Asia reported that the prices of food items in the country were rising sharply because of panic buying.
In several occasions, Pyongyang claimed that the country has no infection and death cases, insisting that the country is still virus-free. But the speculations about North Korea Coronavirus cases has spiked after nation's leader Kim Jong-un missed his late grandfather Kim Il-sung's birthday celebration ceremony on April 18 and people started suspecting that he is currently dealing with poor health issues.
Meanwhile, US said the officials were told that the North Korean leader was in critical condition as he underwent cardiovascular surgery in the last week. But South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office claimed that the 36-year-old Kim Jong-un was conducting regular activities in a rural part of the country along with close aides.
Since North Korea officially did not reveal anything about Kim Jong-un's health condition as well as the country's Coronavirus situation, people started speculating that if the leader dies, his sister, Kim Yo-jong, the youngest daughter Kim Jong-il would become the next leader of the country.