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N. Korea calls for tighter border controls amid global COVID-19 resurgence

North Korea 11:07 November 22, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Sunday called for tighter border controls against the coronavirus, urging its officials to stay on "high alert at all times" amid a global resurgence in the virus cases.

North Korea has recently intensified calls for tightened preventive measures against COVID-19 after leader Kim Jong-un held a politburo meeting of the Workers' Party and stressed the need to "keep a high alert, build a tight blocking wall and further intensify the anti-epidemic work."

"Building a flawless blockade of barrier in preparation for the worsening global health pandemic is a critical issue in intensifying the antivirus campaign," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the ruling party, said Sunday.

"We must continue to maintain an ironclad barrier to protect the safety of our country and our people," it added.

The paper also called on officials to "find and block even the slightest room for any possible transmission of the virus," warning them against carelessness and irresponsibility.

"We must always be mindful that a crevice in our mentality will lead to a crevice in our barriers, and maintain a state of high alert at all times," the paper said.

The North's state-run Korean Central Broadcasting Station also called on its officials to push ahead "more thoroughly" with the emergency antivirus efforts in all areas, saying that the "entire barrier against the virus can collapse and pose a danger to the safety of the country and the people if all officials are careless even for a moment."

North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has maintained its tight border closure since earlier this year.

Despite its prolonged fight against the coronavirus, the North said it will not accept any outside help, saying foreign aid could increase the risk of a coronavirus outbreak.

An official disinfects a bus in Pyongyang amid the coronavirus pandemic, in this undated photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Sept. 4, 2020. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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