North Korea blames 'alien things' near border with South for COVID outbreak

  01 July 2022    Read: 388
North Korea blames

North Korea claimed on Friday that the country's first COVID-19 outbreak began with patients touching "alien things" near the border with South Korea, apparently shifting blame to the neighbour for the wave of infections in the isolated country, Reuters reported.

Announcing results of an investigation, the North ordered people to "vigilantly deal with alien things coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons in the areas along the demarcation line and borders," the official KCNA news agency said.

The agency did not directly mention South Korea, but North Korean defectors and activists have for decades flown balloons from the South across the heavily fortified border, carrying leaflets and humanitarian aid.

South Korea's unification ministry, handling inter-Korean affairs, said there was "no possibility" of the virus entering the North through leaflets sent across the border.

According to KCNA, an 18-year-old soldier and a five-year-old kindergartner who contacted the unidentified materials "in a hill around barracks and residential quarters" in the eastern county of Kumgang in early April showed symptoms and later tested positive for the coronavirus.


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