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N. Korean newspaper calls for preventing spread of African swine fever

All News 11:21 June 05, 2019

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's main newspaper on Wednesday urged people to make all-out efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever but remained silent on an outbreak in the country's northern region.

North Korea reported to the World Organization of Animal Health last week the outbreak of African swine fever at a farm in Jagang Province bordering China. North Korean media outlets have been running reports on the dangers of the disease but have yet to directly mention its presence in the country.

Carrying an interview with an official at a veterinary lab, the Rodong Sinmun again warned the public of the hazards of the disease, although it stopped short of announcing the outbreak.

"African swine fever is rapidly spreading in many countries across the world," the newspaper said. "All sectors, units and households related to the livestock industry should take part in the nationwide effort to prevent the spread of the African swine fever."

The official from the veterinarian lab explained the disease's infection process, characteristics and preventive measures and highlighted that the economic losses stemming from the outbreak could be "enormous."

The lab, under the North's Academy of Agricultural Science, has been conducting research into the disease since April last year and is now studying whether there is a possibility of developing an effective preventive drug against the flu, the official said.

On Monday, the Minju Joson, the organ of the North's cabinet, carried a contribution by the head of the lab saying the disease is causing "extensive damage" in the livestock industry globally.

Although African swine fever is not harmful to people, it is fatal and highly infectious for pigs, with no cure currently available.

South Korea offered to work together with the North to stem the spread of swine fever through an inter-Korean liaison office on Friday, but the North has yet to respond to the proposal.

Sanitation officials disinfect a pig farm on Ganghwa Island in Incheon, west of Seoul, on June 3, 2019, in an effort to prevent African swine fever from hitting the region following an outbreak of the disease in North Korea the previous week. (Yonhap)


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