“Pyongyang Clothing Industry Management Bureau’s officials and working-class are producing masks full-scale,” the party daily the Rodong Sinmun reported on Wednesday.
The article featured a picture of North Korean workers in front of sewing machines at the bureau’s Clothing Technology Preparation Office, producing blue-colored facial masks.
The article did not detail the production process or what material is being used to produce the masks, however, making it hard to asses how effective they might be in preventing the spread of the virus.
“Pyongyang Clothing Factory, Mangyongdae Clothing Factory, and Hyongjesan Clothing Factory have established emergency measures for mask production and fully mobilized the internal reserves,” Wednesday’s article read.
Other factories — also located in or around Pyongyang — such as “Kangdong Clothing Factory and Sadong Clothing Factory” have guaranteed “full operation” of equipment, it continued, “producing tens of thousands of masks every day.”
North Korean media has in the past week reported extensively on country-wide “hygiene propaganda projects” aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus, including educating citizens about wearing masks, washing their hands, and keeping their homes ventilated.
State media has also suggested folk remedies to help fight the virus, including “burning mugworts.”
Meanwhile, externally-focused DPRK outlet Arirang Meari on Wednesday reported that the country is using domestically-developed disinfectant to sterilize factories in the North Korean capital.
“Our-style Solid Chlorine Dioxide, developed a few years ago by Kim Il Sung University Advanced Technology Development Institute’s Nano Technology Research Center, is drawing attention,” the article claimed.
Many service units, foodstuff factories, and chicken processing factories in Pyongyang are using this domestically-produced antiseptic every day, it said.
Another Meari article today reported that Pyongyang airport had increased quarantine measures to meet the “emergency measure by the party and the state,” with health officials now reportedly inspected incoming passengers “from inside the airplane” and disinfecting their luggage.
Jeongmin Kim is a Lead Correspondent at NK News, based in Seoul. Kim covers inter-Korean and DPRK-related foreign, defense and humanitarian affairs, and has covered the 2022 ROK Presidential election on the ground. Prior to joining NK News, she worked for the CSIS Korea Chair in Washington D.C. and Reuters news agency's Seoul bureau. Follow her on Twitter @jeongminnkim