North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un reportedly got COVID-19 vaccine from China

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un reportedly got COVID-19 vaccine from China

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Japanese intelligence said under the conditions of anonymity that North Korea’s Kim and several others received experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his thirties, is often speculated over his health conditions. He is frequently known to drink and smoke and his obesity have had his administration worrying over a potential breakdown.
  • It was not clear which Chinese company had supplied its drug to Kim’s and whether it has proven to be safe or not.
  • This development comes shortly after a report by South Korean intel claimed North Korea tried to hack several ongoing researchers on the novel coronavirus vaccines around the world.

KOLKATA (India) — North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-Un and several members of his family and other high-ranking officials reportedly received an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, thanks to China.

According to a report on 19fortyfive, Japanese intelligence who spoke to the website under the conditions of anonymity told the media outlet about the development.

A North Korean expert named Harry Kazianis at the Center for the National Interest think-tank in Washington wrote for 19Fortyfive that the vaccine had been given to Kim and his family and several senior North Korean officials.

Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his thirties, is often speculated over his health conditions. He is frequently known to drink and smoke and his obesity have had his administration worrying over a potential breakdown.

Kazianis further said that it was not clear which Chinese company had supplied its drug to the Kims and whether it has proven to be safe or not.

Three Chinese companies are at the forefront of developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, including CanSinoBio, Sinovac Biotech Ltd, and China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) which is an unlisted Beijing-based company.

Sinopharm says its candidate has already been used by almost one million people in China, although no firms have disclosed the results of the Phase 3 clinical trial of the experimental coronavirus vaccine.

This development comes shortly after a report by South Korean intel claimed North Korea tried to hack several ongoing researchers on the novel coronavirus vaccines around the world.

If the reports are to be believed, Kim’s penchant to get inoculated with a coronavirus vaccine seems counter-affirmative with claims made by Pyongyang.

North Korea has maintained that it has not recorded a single positive case of the novel coronavirus, which has so far infected over 63 million people globally.

But media reports reflect a different truth – North Korea has been increasingly anxious over the pandemic, given the nation’s already impoverished status and below average healthcare that could cube to ashed if the pandemic becomes widespread.

Earlier this year, Jong-Un reportedly enacted draconian measures to protect its borders from intruders who could bring the virus to their ‘Hermit Kingdom’ including ordering a shoot at sight policy.

North Korea is a chronically-derive nation that faces sanctions from the UN and other nations for its aggressive nuclear arms policies and violating human rights under the dictatorship of the Kim dynasty.

The Dilemma

At a regular briefing, when asked about the vaccines for North Korea, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman named Hua Chunying, neither confirmed nor denied the same. She refused to have an idea.

Few experts had a doubted that Kim would use an experimental vaccine.

An infectious disease expert, Choi Jung-hun, who defected from North Korea to the South in 2012 said, “Even if a Chinese vaccine had already been approved, no drug is perfect and he would not take that risk when he has numerous shelters which can ensure almost complete isolation.”

An East Asia analyst and associate editor of the International Journal on World Peace, Mark Barry told Reuters, that Kim would tend to choose proven European vaccines rather than the one supplied by Beijing.

Barry also Tweeted: “The risk is too great. But he’s happy to get Chinese personal protective equipment.”

North Korea has not confirmed any news of infections of coronavirus, but South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) has said that as the country had people-to-people exchanges and trade with China so an outbreak cannot be ruled out – the source of the pandemic – before shutting the border in late January.

The reports also come on the heels of the last month Microsoft said that in numerous countries two North Korean hacking groups had tried to break into the network of vaccine developers, without specifying the companies targeted. Sources told Reuters that they had included British drugmaker AstraZeneca.

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