The officials of North Korea are looking forward to purchase a foreign coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine as the nation claims it is close to a major breakthrough in developing their own vaccine. The country confirmed the first suspected case of the virus on Sunday as Kim Jong Un imposed a lockdown in the border city of Kaesong.
According to reports, the elites of the nation are trying to get a foreign coronavirus vaccine and the beliefs that there is a lack of faith in the country's own abilities. "A growing number of high-level officials and those from the entrepreneurial class have been offering dollars to those they know overseas to buy a foreign vaccine as soon as one is developed, irrespective of how much it costs," a source in North Korea said as reported by Express UK.
North Korea Wants Vaccine From China?
"There is word that Chinese traders have been inundated with inquiries from Pyongyang and border regions about whether a vaccine has been developed. It appears these requests are based on the calculation that selling the vaccine will be profitable," the source added.
The nation started supplying testing kits to the hospital in February, which it claimed were made domestically. But doctors found out that the kits were imitations of foreign-made kits.
"Many people are also questioning why the authorities are so desperate to scrounge every available resource to rush the construction of Pyongyang General Hospital when they claim there isn't a single confirmed case in the country," the source told Daily NK.
"North Korea's government is unable to look out for its citizens, a reality that has created this atmosphere. People already expect to just fend for themselves," the source added.
COVID-19 Vaccine Development in North Korea
Earlier this month, North Korea's National Science and Technology Committee (NSTC) published an article regarding the development of the coronavirus vaccine, which stated that they have started the clinical trials and are in talks with three leading pharmaceutical firms about the potential vaccine. The source further told the media outlet that the communist party has issued an order to develop a vaccine using the nation's own technology, knowledge, and strength. But so far, nothing fruitful has come out.
In recent times, a person who defected to South Korea for three years, came back to North Korea with coronavirus symptoms, as per reports. This incident has angered the North Korean leader who has launched an investigation into the matter.
The novel virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 16.4 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 654,000 people worldwide in more than 170 nations. Around 300 vaccine candidates are in different stages of trial and a vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.