North Korea was one of the first countries to block foreign tourists from entering its borders in response to the coronavirus outbreak. It has since sank deeper into isolation by limiting trade with China — the source of the outbreak — and curbing diplomatic travel into the country in the hopes of keeping COVID-19 from spreading within its borders .
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s cancellation of an annual parade — often a huge military spectacle reported on by state-run media — without explanation has only flared suspicions that there are coronavirus infections in the country. Experts, however, say it might also be a preventive measure.
Chosun Ilbo, one of South Korea’s largest newspapers, reported that there were at least two suspected cases of the illness in the city of Sinuiju, which borders China. The South Korea-based Daily North Korea reported that as many as five people had died of the novel coronavirus in the same city. Additionally, coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Japan and South Korea.
North Korean leaders have yet to report any cases of the coronavirus, however. A representative from the World Health Organization told Insider there were no reports of a coronavirus case in the country yet.