Given that there are over 63 million infections across 218 countries worldwide, it’s a wonder that North Korea has zero Covid-19 cases.
In October, leader Kim Jong Un thanked citizens for the country’s “zero” Covid-19 cases in a speech with thousands of military parade attendees and participants with bare faces.
Then again, this is the same country that claimed its former leader Kim Jong Il invented burgers and that Kim Jong Un once climbed the “tallest” mountain in North Korea wearing an overcoat and dress shoes.
So, maybe we should take everything they saw with a huge bowl of salt.
Now, despite what they’ve said, there’s another sign that the coronavirus has landed on North Korean shores.
Kim Jong Un & His Family Allegedly Vaccinated from COVID-19
Kim Jong Un and his family have been immunised with an experimental coronavirus vaccine from China, according to a US analyst who cited two unidentified Japanese intelligence sources.
The analyst, Harry Kazianis from the Center for the National Interest in Washington, claimed several senior North Korean officials have also been given the vaccine.
No one knows which drug company produced the vaccine or whether it’s safe, reported Reuters.
But what is certain, according to Kazianis, is that the vaccine was supplied by the Chinese government.
Even though there are around 13 vaccine candidates in China, none of them has publicly launched Phase 3 clinical trials.
In spite of this, one candidate from Sinophram Group has reportedly been administered to nearly 1 million people in China.
To account for its use of an unproven vaccine, the Chinese government said its vaccine has only been given to high-risk individuals such as frontline healthcare workers.
Receiving a vaccine that hasn’t been properly researched could expose recipients to potential adverse effects and unknown risks.
This is why the world has been hesitant to congratulate China and Russia, two countries which have used vaccines that have not gone through Phase 3 clinical trials.
If Kim Jong Un received the vaccine in spite of the risks, he must have feared getting infected, or believed in the claims of the vaccine’s makers.
North Korean Official Executed For Breaking Quarantine
Despite the country’s claims about zero Covid-19 cases, sources have claimed that North Korea is testing and imposing quarantines to combat the coronavirus.
In fact, a North Korean official who returned from China had reportedly been executed for going to a public bath in violation of his quarantine.
And here we thought our laws were strict.
According to the New York Post, Kim Jong Un has vowed to “rule by military law” against anyone who flouts their quarantine orders.
So, if they are testing and imposing lockdowns, why not admit to having Covid-19 cases?
Well, much like any dictatorship, North Korea doesn’t want to appear weak.
“They are clearly lying as they don’t want to show any weakness or that there is any threat to the regime…there is no way that North Korea is not being impacted by the coronavirus,” Kazianis told Fox News.
And since nothing is “weaker” than having your leader contract a virus, Kim Jong Un may have chosen to receive the vaccine to avoid such “shame”.
Meanwhile, their neighbours across the heavily militarised border are dealing with a third wave of the coronavirus.
Featured Image: Alexander Khitrov / Shutterstock.com