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Russia sends coronavirus test kits to N. Korea

North Korea 11:56 February 27, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- Russia has provided North Korea with coronavirus diagnosis kits at the request of Pyongyang, according to the Russian foreign ministry on Wednesday.

"Due to the persisting risk of the new COVID-19 infection, Russia has donated 1,500 coronavirus diagnostic test kits to Pyongyang at the request of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the Russian foreign ministry said in a press release available on its website, referring to North Korea by its official name.

"We hope that this step will help North Korea prevent the infection from penetrating the country," it said.

The press release did not give further details, however, such as when the kits were delivered.

A unification ministry official in Seoul told reporters Thursday that the ministry became aware of the news through the Russian foreign ministry's press release.

"We are keeping an eye on the situation," the official said.

North Korea has not reported any case of COVID-19 virus infection, but it has called for nationwide efforts to prevent the virus from breaking out on its soil through intensified border controls and tightened quarantine processes.

Concerns are lingering that North Korea could be more vulnerable as it shares a long and porous border with China and lacks key medical supplies and the infrastructure to test and treat infected people.


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