September 30, 2023

South Korean president offers COVID-19 vaccines to North Korea

Unclear whether North Korea, which has administered no known vaccines, will be receptive to foreign assistance

South Korea has offered to help procure vaccines and other medical supplies after North Korea revealed hundreds of thousands of its people are battling fever symptoms amid a COVID-19 outbreak in Pyongyang.

North Korean state media reported Friday morning that at least one North Korean died after testing positive for the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, while another 187,800 are under quarantine due to fever. An unidentified fever spread “explosively” across the country from late April, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Friday, affecting 350,000 North Koreans so far.