SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has put at least 7,000 people under quarantine to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading into the country, Seoul's spy agency told lawmakers Tuesday.
"While North Korea has not yet confirmed the outbreak in the country, South Korea is closely monitoring the situation as people are put under quarantine in Gangwon and Pyongan Provinces," Rep. Lee Eun-jae of the main opposition United Future Party said, quoting the National Intelligence Service as having said during a parliamentary session.
"There are possibilities that North Koreans who visited China before the borders were closed may have been infected with the virus," Lee added.
Pyongyang has imposed restrictions on cross-border travel since late January as part of stepped-up preventive efforts against COVID-19, which originated in neighboring China.
North Korea, meanwhile, released diplomats residing in the country from a one-month quarantine on Monday, and plans to assign a flight to Vladivostok for them on Friday despite the lockdown on land and air travels.
The spy agency also believes Pyongyang fired two projectiles into the East Sea on Monday to avoid the impression that its military training has been contracted due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Lee said.
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