Is it true that North Koreans affected by the Corona virus will be shot

When trying to understand North Korea in general an attitude of trying to create a pattern of what is likely to be reality really makes the most sense. The main source of information we have are mainly what the few travelers have experienced and what defectors state, both are going to create a narrative which may not yield all the facts that are needed to fully understand, North Korea. Defectors often have information which if truthful, becomes not very current rapidly. Information about North Korea is more about putting facts together which come in very small credible quantity. In India, I met people who had travelled to North Korea, and they described a nation which was having a very hard time with sanctions, but which at the same time was not nearly as bad as Western Media describes. What we do know, is that North Korea has been sanctioned for an extended period of time, it lacks hard currency in the amounts needed to have a viable health care system for all it’s citizens. As a result of this, extreme measures could be taken to protect from the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. China though claiming to be enforcing the sanction regime, is likely not going to deny some kind of assistance in this crisis. So it is very possible that North Korea has access to N95 masks and Chinese Medications to treat patients. North Korea has a government and though it is oppressive, it will try to provide some kind of treatment for patients.

It has been rumoured that a hospital was being built apart from those already present in Pyongyang the Capital. There are only two possibilities this would be done, either this is to prevent COVID-19 cases in large numbers in North Korea, or existing hospitals are already overwhelmed. The likely reality is that North Korea is having issue with both hospitals being overwhelmed and the desire to separate COVID-19 patients making their care easier. If patients were destined to be shot, there is no reason to build this hospital. So North Korea is most likely not instituting a pattern of killing COVID-19 patients.

North Korea also closed it’s schools and has instituted social distancing. These are signs that there are cases of COVID-19 in North Korea. There simply was no way that smugglers returning from China would not also bring the Virus back into North Korea. If anything North Korea may begin harsher punishment for smugglers, but it appears North Korea after decades long sanctions is trying to treat people with what limited resources it has. The idea of a Totalitarian Socialist Regime trying to provide some kind of medical care for it’s citizens is far more likely, than a shoot on site order.

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