North Korea lifts lockdown in border town after suspected COVID-19 case 'inconclusive'

By Sangmi Cha SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lifted a three week lockdown in the city of Kaesong and nearby areas, after a man who defected to the South returned to the border town last month showing coronavirus symptoms, state media said on Friday. Kim made the decision at a politburo meeting convened to discuss the government's efforts to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, as well as the response to heavy rain and flooding, state news agency KCNA reported. North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but Kim said last month that the virus 'could be said to have entered' the country and imposed the lockdown after the man was reported to have symptoms.

Reuters August 14, 2020 07:10:58 IST
North Korea lifts lockdown in border town after suspected COVID-19 case 'inconclusive'

COVID-19 case 'inconclusive'" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/08-2020/14/2020-08-14T011604Z_1_LYNXNPEG7D029_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-NORTHKOREA.jpg" alt="North Korea lifts lockdown in border town after suspected COVID19 case inconclusive" width="300" height="225" />

By Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lifted a three week lockdown in the city of Kaesong and nearby areas, after a man who defected to the South returned to the border town last month showing coronavirus symptoms, state media said on Friday.

Kim made the decision at a politburo meeting convened to discuss the government's efforts to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, as well as the response to heavy rain and flooding, state news agency KCNA reported.

North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus , but Kim said last month that the virus "could be said to have entered" the country and imposed the lockdown after the man was reported to have symptoms. Later test results on the man were "inconclusive", according to the World Health Organisation.

Coronavirus prevention measures had stabilised the risk in the area, Kim said in a statement carried by KCNA.

While easing the lockdown within the country, Kim said that border controls should remain tight and ordered communities not to accept any external assistance related to the floods caused by weeks of heavy rain.

"The situation, in which the spread of the worldwide malignant virus has become worse, requires us not to allow any outside aid for the flood damage but shut the border tighter and carry out strict anti-epidemic work," Kim said in a statement carried out by the KCNA.

The monsoon season caused extensive damage in several provinces, with farmlands inundated with floodwaters, around 16,680 houses and 630 public buildings destroyed or flooded, and many roads, bridges and railroads damaged, KCNA reported.

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Josh Smith and)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.