February 21, 2024
Analysis

What China’s respiratory illness outbreak among children means for North Korea

While DPRK is keeping tabs on situation as it reopens, expert says country likely able to mitigate health risks

China is battling an outbreak of respiratory illnesses among children in several parts of the country, and it’s clear that North Korea — one of the last places to maintain strict COVID-19 controls — has taken note.

Reports began to emerge late last month about a sudden uptick in respiratory illness in several parts of China, including in Liaoning Province bordering North Korea. Images of Chinese children receiving IV drips at schools sparked fear in some corners about the spread of a new disease, though medical experts have sought to tamp down concerns.