North Korea Blames South Korean Balloons for COVID-19 Outbreak


As some countries have gotten over their worst COVID-19 outbreaks, North Korea is in the thick of theirs. After almost two years, it’s a wonder that North Korea is only now battling the pandemic.

So what caused this new outbreak? North Korea seems to think balloons flown over from South Korea are to blame.

To understand this claim better, it’s important to note the significance of these balloons. For years, activists have flown balloons across the border to distribute hundreds of thousands of propaganda leaflets critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has expressed its fury at both the activists and those in power in South Korea for not stopping these letters from being distributed. Now, in the midst of increasing tensions over its nuclear program, North Korea is pointing fingers at the South.

By now, it’s well known by experts and healthcare professionals that the coronavirus is spread by people in close contact who inhale airborne droplets and are more likely to occur in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces. To add to the science, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said that there was no chance South Korean balloons are what spread the virus to North Korea.

The leaders in North Korea have been known to spread COVID-19 misinformation. In the past, North Korea claimed the virus could spread through falling snow or migratory birds. Its pandemic-related restrictions even included strict bans on entering seawater.

North Korea announced on May 12, 2022, that they were experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. They also said that an unspecified number of people in Pyongyang were diagnosed with the omicron variant.

Around 4.7 million fever cases out of 26 million people have been reported but only a fraction of them have been identified as COVID-19. A total of 73 people have died, which is an extremely low fatality rate. As expected, both figures are believed to be manipulated by North Korea to keep its people vigilant against the virus and prevent any more political damage to Kim Jong Un.


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