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North Korea blames "aliens" near the South Korean border for COVID outbreaks

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Reuters

Soul — North South Korea seems to have transferred the wave of infections that struck an isolated country to its neighbors, claiming that it began on Friday when a patient touched "aliens" near the border with South Korea.

In announcing the findings, North Korea ordered the public to "carefully deal with aliens caused by wind and other climatic phenomena and balloons in the borders and areas along the border."

According to state media KCNA, an 18-year-old soldier and a 5-year-old kindergarten child who came into contact with unidentified materials "on the hills around barracks and residential areas" in the eastern county of Mt. Kongo in early April. Symptoms appeared and then coronavirus positive.

"According to the survey results, several people who came to the capital from the Ifori district in Kumgang County, Gangwon Province in mid-April had a fever, and their contacts were feverish. The incident was witnessed, "state media said.

KCNA stated that all other cases of fever reported in the country by mid-April were due to other illnesses, but did not elaborate.

North Korean defectors and South Korean activists have been flying balloons carrying leaflets and humanitarian aid across highly fortified borders for decades.

Former President Moon Jae-in's government banned the campaign in 2020 because of safety concerns of border residents, but activists have been working on cross-border improvement efforts. He whitened Pyongyang and called an attempt to silence critics banned. tie.

North Korea is fighting the first outbreak of COVID infection and has imposed strict restrictions over the years to prevent the invasion of the virus, followed by a state of emergency in May. I declared the situation.

In July 2020, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency after a man in exile in the north and south returned to Japan in 2017, and spent three weeks in Kaesong Town near the north-south border. I imposed a blockade. A city with COVID symptoms.

North Korea claims that the wave of COVID is showing signs of calming, but experts suspect underreporting of numbers released through government-controlled media.

North Korea reported more than 4,570 fever symptoms on Friday, with a total of 4.74 million fever cases recorded since late April.

Pyongyang announces the number of fever patients daily without designating them as COVID patients due to the apparent lack of test kits. (Report by Soo-hyang Choi and Josh Smith, edited by Leslie Adler and Richard Chang)