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N. Korea to open schools from early June after monthslong delay amid virus fears

All News 08:51 June 01, 2020

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korea plans to begin reopening schools nationwide in phases early this month after months of delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported Monday.

Schools in North Korea were supposed to start new semesters in early April, but the vacation period has been extended repeatedly due to the coronavirus pandemic, though some colleges and high schools were allowed to open in mid-April.

"Preventive measures have been enforced in a way that elementary, middle and high schools start their semesters, and nurseries and kindergartens can begin resuming their operations in early June," according to the North's state radio.

"Education authorities have been asked to furnish thermometers and hand sanitizers at every gate of schools and classrooms and offices, while workers at schools and nurseries have been advised to stick to antivirus principles," it added.

It noted the North will also place top priority on testing kids at nurseries and kindergartens for the coronavirus and securing necessary disinfectant for buildings.

North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has taken relatively drastic and swift antivirus measures since late January to close its border, tighten its quarantine, and shut schools and nurseries nationwide.

The latest media report on the resumption of schools might suggest concerns over the coronavirus have recently eased in North Korea or it could be aimed at projecting Pyongyang's confidence in containing the virus.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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