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Kim blasts pandemic response as North Korean outbreak surges

Virus Outbreak North Korea
Posted at 8:50 PM, May 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-15 23:51:34-04

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blasted officials over slow medicine deliveries and ordered his military to respond to the largely undiagnosed COVID-19 crisis that has left 1.2 million people ill with fever and 50 dead in a matter of days.

More than 560,000 people are in quarantine due to the fever. Eight more deaths and 392,920 newly detected fevers were reported Monday.

It's not known how many were COVID-19 since North Korea likely lacks enough testing supplies.

It’s also not clear if North Korea’s urgent messaging about the outbreak indicates a willingness to receive outside help.

It shunned vaccines from a U.N.-backed program earlier.

China and South Korea said they were willing to help but indicated North Korea hasn't requested any.