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The North Korean military has launched an intensive distribution of drugs designed to fight the COVID-19 epidemic.

This was announced today by the North Korean news agency KCTA, informing about nearly 1.5 million cases of "fever" in the country.

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The Coronavirus Epidemic (COVID-19) 31498

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un (Hangul 김정은, Hanja 金正恩, English Kim Jong-Un) is a North Korean politician, ordered a nationwide quarantine in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus in a country whose population has not been vaccinated.

He sent troops to help fight the epidemic, expressing dissatisfaction with the way the fight is being waged. 

Hundreds of soldiers from the Korean People's Army in camouflage clothes are gathering in the capital, Pyongyang, according to photos released by the CCTA.

The army "urgently deployed its powerful forces in all pharmacies in the city of Pyongyang and began to provide medicines, offering the service around the clock," the CCTA quoted BTA as saying.

A photo of the agency shows soldiers marching near a long column of olive-green trucks.

Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un (Hangul 김정은, Hanja 金正恩, English Kim Jong-Un) is a North Korean politician, sharply criticized the government and health authorities yesterday for failing to control the epidemic, and in particular for their inability to keep pharmacies open at all times.

COVID-19: North Korea reports 6 new deaths

After the DPRK announced on Thursday that it had registered its first case of COVID-19 infection, Kim personally took up the fight against the epidemic, which he said was causing "major upheavals" in the country.

Authorities have reported more than 1.48 million cases of fever and 56 deaths since COVID-19 appeared in the country.

According to them, "at least 663,910 people receive medical care."

North Korea is battling a COVID-19 pandemic, with hundreds of thousands sick

Chronic malnutrition

Authorities have launched more intensive campaign campaigns in the media, and pharmaceutical laboratories have increased drug production, the CCTA said.

North Korea's health care system ranked 193rd out of 195 in various countries in last year's Johns Hopkins University analysis.

There is a well-known shortage of equipment and supplies in hospitals across the country, which have few intensive care units.

According to experts, the DPRK does not have any treatment against COVID-19 and there are no opportunities for mass testing of the population.

"Most North Koreans suffer from chronic malnutrition and have not been vaccinated, there are virtually no drugs left in the country, and the health infrastructure is unable to cope with the pandemic," said Lina Yun, a Korean researcher at Human Rights Watch.

She called on the international community to provide North Korea with medicines, vaccines and infrastructure.

So far, Pyongyang has not responded to such a proposal from Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry said.

South Korea's new president, Yun Suk-yol, has taken a firmer stance on the DPRK, which has nuclear weapons than its predecessor.

Yesterday, the president told parliament that he would "without hesitation provide the necessary assistance to the North Korean people" as long as he accepted it.

Despite the health crisis, new satellite images show that North Korea has resumed long-suspended construction of a nuclear reactor.

Washington and Seoul suspect that Pyongyang is preparing a nuclear test - the seventh in the country's history and the first since 2017 - to distract the North Korean population from the health crisis.

Eight more died and more than 390,000 died of "fever" in North Korea

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The Coronavirus Epidemic (COVID-19)

Kim Jong Un

North Korea