September 23, 2023

With COVID-19 still raging in China and Russia, North Korea can’t relax just yet

If Pyongyang is hoping to wait out the corona-crisis, recent outbreaks across the border will make that wait even longer

Like other countries, North Korea has to mitigate the economic disruption of COVID-19 prevention measures and remain vigilant against potential outbreaks of the virus.

In both cases, Northeast China looms large for the DPRK. While the North Korean state has put forward a burnished narrative of perfection concerning their response to the disease, a new outbreak with links to Russia in the adjacent Chinese province of Jilin requires attention. It will also provide justification for those in the North Korean government advocating for ongoing hard border controls.