North Korea is “scrambling” to secure large amounts of COVID-19 vaccine for its military

North Korea is “scrambling” to secure large amounts

North Korea has reportedly been scrambling to secure large amounts of COVID-19 vaccine since the United States pledged to provide the South Korean military with vaccines during last month’s US-South Korean summit.

The authorities apparently plan to inoculate the military first with any proven vaccines they can get their hands on, regardless of country of origin.

According to a high-ranking Daily NK source in North Korea on Friday, the authorities late last month ordered cadre-level North Koreans residing overseas to secure vaccines. The order instructed them to quickly send as much vaccine as they could, even if this meant Chinese-made vaccines.

In fact, North Korean authorities have long hesitated to adopt Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines such as those produced by Sinovac and Sinopharm.

In fact, North Korean authorities reportedly banned the use of Chinese-made medical supplies in major hospitals in Pyongyang after a high-ranking economic official died soon after receiving a Chinese-made injection. Chinese-made vaccines have apparently been excluded from the country’s vaccine sample research as well.

North Korean authorities appear to have repeatedly expressed distrust of Chinese-made medical items; however, the recent US-South Korean summit may have promoted the change of heart evident in Pyongyang’s latest order.

Immediately after the summit on May 21, US President Joe Biden said Washington would provide vaccines for 550,000 South Korean military personnel.

Daily NK’s source further said that North Korean military authorities have taken the South Korean military’s COVID-19 inoculations as a “psychological threat.”

Precisely how many COVID-19 cases and deaths there have been in the North Korean military remains unknown, but statements by multiple sources suggest about 20% to 25% of the North Korean military’s total strength is currently in quarantine.

With the rise in the number of personnel in quarantine with COVID-19 symptoms, some units that were operating on a three-shift basis have gone to two shifts.

Read Full Article: North Korea is “scrambling” to secure large amounts of COVID-19 vaccine for its military

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