North Korea’s military scrambles for vaccines “Bring in anything at once”

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean Workers’ Party, reported on the news of the Korean People’s Army units mobilized at the damage recovery site in Daecheong-ri, Eunpa-gun, in August last year. The photo has nothing to do with the article. /Photo = Rodong Sinmun News 1

After the US announced at a South Korea-US summit last month that it would provide vaccines to the South Korean military, it is known that North Korean authorities have started to secure large quantities of vaccines. It is said that if it is a genuine product that has proven effective in any country of manufacture, it plans to inoculate the People’s Army first.

According to a high-ranking source inside Daily NK on the 4th, orders were issued to the executive-level expatriates dispatched abroad at the end of last month to secure vaccines, and this included a message to bring in as many quantities as possible even if they were made in China as soon as possible.

In fact, the North Korean authorities took a negative stance on the introduction of coronavirus vaccines from China, such as Sinovac and Sinopharm. (▶Shortcut to related articles: “The vaccine we chose for South Korea too…” Will North Korea start vaccination at the end of next month?)

In particular, as a high-ranking executive in the economic sector died shortly after receiving an injection from China, it was reported that the Chinese vaccine was excluded from the vaccine sample study, along with orders not to use Chinese medicines in major Pyongyang hospitals. (▶Shortcut to related article: Senior executive dies after injecting…Kim Jong-eun, “Get rid of Chinese medicines”)

It is analyzed that the South Korea-U.S. summit was held against the background of the North Korean authorities, who had repeatedly expressed distrust of Chinese medicines, suddenly gave instructions different from their previous positions.

After a summit meeting at the White House on the 21st of last month, President Biden announced that he would provide vaccines to 550,000 South Korean soldiers.

The source explained that the North Korean military authorities took the South Korean military’s corona vaccination as a psychological threat.

Currently, the internal tally of the number of corona-related symptoms and deaths in the North Korean military is not known, but according to the results of multiple sources, 20-25% of the North Korean military’s total force is in quarantine.

As the number of quarantined troops due to corona-related symptoms increased, it is said that some units switched from three shifts to two shifts.

In the midst of this, it is known that North Korea was planning to organize its military personnel into a higher group to be vaccinated when they receive a vaccine through the ‘Kovax Facility’, an international joint purchase of vaccines.

Due to the nature of military bases that live in a group barracks, the number of military corona suspects (suspicious patients) increased significantly more than civilians, so the vaccination of soldiers was considered first.

However, when the World Health Organization (WHO) requested that they report their vaccination plans in advance and monitor them after vaccination, if the vaccine is provided, the North expressed displeasure and caused some friction, a high-ranking source said.

It has become difficult to vaccinate soldiers with vaccines donated through the WHO, and as the South Korean military began to vaccinate, the North Korean authorities appear to have been rushing to prepare a vaccine to provide to the military.

There are also observations that North Korea’s vaccination may be accelerated as the authorities have given orders to the foreign affairs department, the reconnaissance general bureau, and trade workers dispatched abroad to introduce the vaccine first.

The source said, “The internal atmosphere due to Corona is not good as the number of suspects and the number of deaths increase not only in the military but also in the civilians (civilians). Wouldn’t it be faster?” he said.

Source: DailyNK by

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