UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations is ready to help the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) deal with an outbreak of COVID-19, said a spokesman on Friday.

Photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 13, 2022 shows Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), visiting the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters on May 12, 2022. (KCNA via Xinhua)


“The UN remains engaged, and we stand ready, along with our humanitarian partners, to assist the people in need in the DPRK on COVID-19 and other issues, as people’s vulnerability has likely increased since the pandemic outbreak and the border closures in 2020,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“At this stage, we are monitoring with concern the reports of COVID-19 outbreak in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We’ve yet to receive formal communications on the outbreak. But we are staying in contact with the representatives of the DPRK on this,” he told a daily press briefing.

Kim Jong Un, the top leader of the DPRK, on Thursday called for quick action to contain the spread of COVID-19, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

A fever whose cause could not be identified explosively spread nationwide in the DPRK from late April, and more than 350,000 people got fever in a short span of time. So far, six people have died, it said.