North Korea’s Ministry of Public Health recently launched a new website featuring information on the country’s healthcare system, leadership activities, and photos, as well as details of its efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s unclear when precisely the website — available in English and Korean — was launched, with the first article available covering an April 2019 visit by Kim Jong Un to the Yangdok Hot Springs Resort construction, but it appears to have come online in recent weeks.
The website, named “Inminbogon,” meaning “public health,” offers information in six categories, including “Undying Leadership,” in which state media articles and pictures of Kim Jong Un’s activities related to public health are shared.
Another category, “Health Policies,” featured information on public health policy, as well as anecdotes lauding the country’s successes in the sector.
Notably, while the category detailing “Medical Services” lists articles going back to September last year, almost half of the articles focus on “emergency measures” and the “extension of quarantine period” taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The website seems to have been not edited thoroughly, however, featuring many glaring typos.
The copyright sign at the bottom of the website, for example, describes it as the website of the “Ministray [sic] of Public Health of the DPRK.”
Increased activity on the state-run website appears to be part of a broader trend since late January, when North Korea began a “national emergency quarantine system” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It also follows an annual budgetary session earlier this month by the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), at which the rubber-stamp legislature approved a 7.4% year-on-year increase in funding to public health — a notable rise compared to a 5.8% increase last year.
North Korean authorities also recently published a new e-book answering commonly-asked questions on COVID-19.
Top officials from the Ministry of Public Health have increasingly appeared in state media in recent weeks, with public health minister O Chun Bok frequently quoted touting North Korea’s claim to have no cases of COVID-19 within its territory.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday continued to reiterate this claim, reporting that 740 people in North Korea have been tested for COVID-19 so far and that none had been detected to have the virus.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
North Korea's Ministry of Public Health recently launched a new website featuring information on the country's healthcare system, leadership activities, and photos, as well as details of its efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's unclear when precisely the website -- available in English and Korean -- was launched, with the first article available covering an April 2019 visit by Kim Jong Un to the Yangdok Hot Springs Resort construction, but it appears to have come online in recent weeks.