December 06, 2023

Elderly North Korean veterans pack stadium for conference despite COVID spread

Participants forgo masks at event to mark end of Korean War, as Pyongyang vows conflict ‘not over’

North Korean authorities packed hundreds of elderly Korean War veterans into an indoor stadium for a conference Tuesday without enforcing mandatory face mask or social distancing rules, despite the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The number of veterans in their 80s and 90s in attendance also appeared significantly lower than at last year’s event, though the reason for this is unclear. The conference comes after North Korea announced its first COVID outbreak in May and as it has recorded over 4.7 million suspected cases since.