December 05, 2023

North Korea appears to lift strict mask mandates as temperatures rise

State media showing citizens without masks since Sunday, though it has yet to report on COVID-19 policy change

North Korean authorities appear to have lifted their near-universal COVID-19 face mask mandate over the weekend, according to NK News analysis of state media, becoming likely the last country in the world to do so. 

Though state media did not announce the change, ordinary people nationwide appearing both indoors and outside in the state TV evening news on Sunday and in photos printed in the party daily Rodong Sinmun on Monday were not wearing masks — a stark change compared to all previous editions dating back to last September.