WHO said that it will send COVID-19 aid for North Korea through China’s border port of Dalian, despite few signs North Korea has eased strict border lockdowns to keep the virus out.
In its latest weekly report for South and East Asia, the WHO said it had begun shipments through Dalian port in China, which is near the border with North Korea.
WHO said: “To support DPR Korea with essential COVID-19 medical supplies, WHO started the shipment through Dalian port, China for strategic stockpiling and further dispatch to DPR Korea”, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name.
An official for South Korea’s unification ministry, which handles relations with the North, told the Yonhap news agency that while Chinese customs data showed that maritime shipping routes between North Korea and China appeared to be opening, signs of movement of goods through land routes between the two countries had not been detected.
North Korea imposed tough restrictions when the coronavirus pandemic began last year, sealing its borders and other measures in what it saw as a matter of national survival.
Officials in South Korea and the United States have cast doubts on North Korea’s claim to have never had a coronavirus case but no signs of major outbreaks have been confirmed.