September 30, 2023

North Korea isn’t fretting about a long COVID-19 lockdown

Chinese aid will keep regime afloat as DPRK shows little interest in a quick return to pre-pandemic life

New developments over the past month have underlined a surprising fact about North Korea’s COVID-19 response: Despite serious economic difficulties due to its border lockdown, the country is not in a terrible rush to vaccinate its population.

Talks this year with the global vaccine alliance Gavi have yielded little results, as Pyongyang has completed only two of seven steps necessary to receive a promised shipment of around 1.7 million dozens of the AstraZeneca vaccine.