North Korean state news media have long insisted that there are no coronavirus cases in the country, although outside experts question this claim. The North did not disclose whether the defector who returned from South Korea tested positive for the virus, and South officials said there was no evidence he had it.
The global pandemic and rampant flood damage comes as Mr Kim has failed to lift United Nations sanctions due to his stalled diplomatic relations with President Trump.
By preventing foreign aid, Kim appears to have denied Seoul and Washington a chance to unfreeze relations with the North through humanitarian shipments.
“North Korea’s rejection of flood relief is apparently aimed at preventing transmission of Covid-19 in the country,” said Leif-Eric Easley, professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. “But humanitarian aid is highly politicized by the Kim regime, because it does not want to show weakness to the national population or to its international rivals.”
North Korea has ended its activities with neighboring China, which accounts for nine-tenths of its foreign trade, and cracked down on smugglers who keep their unofficial markets thriving. The country’s exports to China, hit hard by the border closure, fell to $ 27 million in the first half of this year, a 75% drop from a year ago, according to the Korea Institute. for national unification in Seoul. Imports from China fell 67 percent to $ 380 million.
The coronavirus epidemic>
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 12, 2020
Can I travel to the United States?
- Many states have travel restrictions, and many are taking active steps to enforce those restrictions, such as imposing fines or asking visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days. Here’s an always-up-to-date list of statewide restrictions. In general, travel increases your chances of catching and spreading the virus, as you are likely to meet more people than if you stayed at home in your own “pod”. “Staying at home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19,” the CDC says. If you are traveling, take precautions. If you can, drive. If you have to fly, be careful about choosing your airline. But know that airlines are taking real action to keep planes clean and limit your risk.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- For now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering from what appears to be a second episode of Covid-19. But experts say these patients can have a prolonged course of the infection, with the virus taking weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus usually produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to infection. These antibodies may only last for two to three months in the body, which may sound worrying, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection clears, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to catch the coronavirus again, but it is very unlikely that it will be possible in a short time from the initial infection or making people sicker the second time around.
I own a small business. Can I get relief?
- Stimulus bills enacted in March offer help to millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for assistance are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Certain large companies in certain sectors are also eligible. The assistance offered, which is administered by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. But a lot of people haven’t seen any payments yet. Even those who have received help are confused: the rules are draconian, and some are stuck on money they don’t know how to use. Many small business owners receive less than expected or hear nothing at all.
What are my rights if I am afraid to return to work?
What will school look like in September?
- Many schools are unlikely to return to normal schedules this fall, requiring continued online learning, makeshift child care and reduced work days. California’s two largest public school districts – Los Angeles and San Diego – said on July 13 that distance education would only be remote in the fall, citing concerns that the surge in coronavirus infections in their regions pose too serious a risk to students and teachers. Together, the two districts are home to some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country to date to abandon their plans to return physically, even partially, to classrooms when they reopen in August. For the other districts, the solution will not be an all or nothing approach. Many systems, including the country’s largest, New York, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending a few days in class and other days online. There is no national policy on this yet, so check back regularly with your municipal school system to see what is happening in your community.
About 60 percent of North Korea’s population faces food insecurity this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.