North Korea PANIC: Kim Jong-un’s coronavirus fear exposed after China cut off

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Kim Jong-un’s move has been called extreme by analysts considering China’s current relatively low COVID-19 cases. In the first few days of December China recorded less than 20 infections each day which has prompted some experts to question why North Korea has chosen to cut off its ties with Beijing.

In October, Beijing exported approximately £188,147 worth of goods to Pyongyang according to data published by China’s customs administration.

This is reportedly a 99 percent drop compared to its trade in September.

Beijing is considered to be North Korea’s closest ally and one of Pyongyang’s biggest trading partners.

Harry Kazianis, senior director at the Center for the National Interest, told Express.co.uk that Mr Kim had to make a very “tough call” to cut off its ties with China in such an extreme way.

He said: “Kim had to make a very tough call in cutting off all trade and contact with China.

“Keep in mind, North Korea was already in an economic depression thanks to US economic sanctions.

“Now add in three typhoon landings and food insecurity issues along with COVID-19 and North Korea now faces a perfect storm of having to combat so many challenges at once that the regime’s overall stability has likely been shaken to at least some extent.”

North Korea has not publicly explained why they have cut off their trade with China but the pandemic has been touted by analysists as a possible explanation.

Mr Kazianis explained how North Korea’s health care system is in despair meaning Mr Kim may go to any lengths to stop the virus spreading.

He said: “The North Korean health system outside of Pyongyang is a total disaster, so anything the DPRK can do to combat the virus they will do.”

North Korea is yet to confirm any cases of COVID-19, claiming there have been no infections.

However, this has been disputed by experts and its neighbour South Korea.

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South Korea’s Intelligence Service (NIS) claimed an outbreak in the North cannot be ruled out as it had trade and face-to-face exchanges with people from China. 

Last week it was revealed Mr Kim had ordered at least two people to be executed as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in North Korea, according to AP.

South Korea’s spy agency reportedly told lawmakers the North had also banned fishing at sea and locked down the capital as part of the frantic efforts.

Mr Kazianis warned that North Korea’s moves to cut itself off from China will cause a “self-induced” economic depression.

He said: “90 % of North Korea’s exports one way or another head to China—that means cutting off trade with Beijing is a one-way ticket to a self-induced economic depression for Pyongyang.

“North Korea can surely recover, however, it depends how long Kim keeps the country lockdown and cut off from the world.

“If he waits for a vaccine to open up his boarders as he said he would do, that could mean North Korea’s economy will be frozen for many more months.

“The question I ask myself is how much can the regime take? At what point do the elites around Kim start to question his choices?” 

Mr Kazianis also revealed that Mr Kim and his family were given an experimental coronavirus vaccine provided by China.

Citing two unidentified Japanese intelligence sources, Mr Kazianis wrote in 19FortyFive: “Kim Jong-un and multiple other high-ranking officials within the Kim family and leadership network have been vaccinated for coronavirus within the last two to three weeks thanks to a vaccine candidate supplied by the Chinese government.”

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