North Korea ramping up virus control on border, state media reports

In this Sept 16, 2020, file photo, North Korean soldiers wearing face masks look at the South side during South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young's visit to Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. North Korea is further toughening its restriction on the entry to sea as part of elevated steps to fight the coronavirus pandemic, state media said Sunday (Nov 29), two days after South had said the North even banned fishing at sea. - AP

SEOUL, Nov 29 (dpa): North Korea has ramped up its virus control measures along the border with South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday.

Pyongyang is establishing a blockade wall near the border and the military demarcation line, Yonhap said, citing two North Korean state media outlets.

North Korea is also taking steps in coastal areas to stop the virus entering via the sea, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station and the Korean Central News Agency reported.

"We are responding strongly to allow no room for the transmission of the virus through sea garbage," the broadcasting station said as cited by Yonhap.

Reclusive North Korea has so far not officially reported a single domestic coronavirus case but has reportedly stepped up health protection measures recently.

South Korea's NIS intelligence service said Kim has been pursuing "irrational measures" to deal with the pandemic, according to lawmakers briefed by the agency earlier this week.

NIS agents reported he has banned fishing and salt production for fear that saltwater is contaminated with the virus, in moves that are damaging to the country's already fragile economy.

They also reported that North Korean hackers have been targeting South Korean labs conducting vaccine research. - dpa
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