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U.S. voices deep concern over vulnerability of N.K. people to coronavirus outbreak

All News 07:58 February 14, 2020

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- The United States is "deeply concerned" about the vulnerability of the North Korean people to the new coronavirus, the State Department said Thursday, stressing its support for aid agencies seeking to help contain the spread of the deadly virus in the communist state.

Pyongyang has yet to report any confirmed case of COVID-19 that first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December, amid speculation that it may have difficulty testing or treating its citizens due to a lack of medical supplies.

"The United States is deeply concerned about the vulnerability of the North Korean people to a coronavirus outbreak," the State Department said in a press statement posted on its website Thursday.

"We strongly support and encourage the work of U.S. and international aid and health organizations to counter and contain the spread of coronavirus in the DPRK. The United States is ready and prepared to expeditiously facilitate the approval of assistance from these organizations," it added.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The death toll of the virus in China alone has topped 1,300, with the country's confirmed cases exceeding 59,800.

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