Is North Korea preparing for major Coronavirus outbreak? Pyongyang witnesses 'Panic Buying' of food

  • Consumers in North Korea's capital Pyongyang this week have been seen 'panic buying' food items, revealed local news

  • It led some of the store shelves to get empty in North Korea capital

A few days ago, reports revealed that the secretive country, North Korea is not at all secured from the Coronavirus outbreak after authorities told the residents in public lectures that there were confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country as early as the end of March.

Now, local reports 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 get empty.

North Korea panic buying

North Korea market
Panic buying in North Korea Twitter

As reported by NK News, panic shopping may indicate a stricter Coronavirus measure on the way for the North Korea capital. The report clarified that the purchases do not appear related to current reports on the nation's leader Kim Jong-un's alleged poor health condition.

It should be noted that as per the report initially there was a shortage of fruits and vegetable but soon the shortage of other goods was also noticed in the capital of North Korea. Last week, Radio Free Asia reported that the prices of food items in the country were rising sharply because of panic buying.

North Korea Coronavirus

Kim Jong-un ordered to close the borders in January after the Coronavirus cased started rising in the initial epicentre of the outbreak in China. His regime said that it has not recorded any confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, while some lecturer in the public gathering had revealed that the country is not immune from the virus, citing two sources -- Pyongyang and Ryanggang provinces.

While the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un has been criticised for hiding facts related to the Coronavirus in the nation, General Robert Abrams, commander of US Forces Korea, told reporters in March that the US is "fairly certain" that North Korea has COVID-19 cases.

Food shortage in North Korea

Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un IANS

It should be mentioned that as per the previous data, food shortage is a very common issue in North Korea but the virus outbreak in the country could make things worse. Recently the UN's World Food Program revealed that the economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic may lead to starvation in the developing countries. It was also revealed that around 40 percent of the world population is undernourished.

However, on April 15 during the celebration of North Korea's former Premier Kim Il-sung's birthday, his grandchild Kim Jong-un was missing. He has been seen since the politburo meeting that took place on April 11 which raised speculation about his health condition. But later, on Wednesday, Korean Central News Agency reported that the leader of North Korea has sent a note to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, US officials said they were told that the North Korean leader was in critical condition as he underwent cardiovascular surgery in the past week. But South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office claimed that the 36-year-old supreme leader 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 during this global health crisis, his sister, Kim Yo-jong, the youngest daughter Kim Jong-il would become the next leader of the country.

Related topics : Coronavirus