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What Does North Korea’s Zero COVID-19 Claim Signify?

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  • April 28, 2020

    Research Fellow, Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Dr. Jagannath Panda's co-authored commentary on North Korea’s COVID-19 claims, titled ‘What Does North Korea’s Zero COVID-19 Claim Signify?’ has been published in 38 North, at Stimson Centre in Washington DC, on April 28, 2020.

    The commentary essentially argues that North Korea has claimed from the outset of the coronavirus pandemic that it has no COVID-19 patients within its territory. The political motivations for this bold claim, which can only be validated with a nationwide testing program, are likely public pressure to address national anxiety over COVID-19 and the regime’s desire to assert its authority. However, the North’s deteriorating health care system and its clandestine relations with China and Russia might encourage Pyongyang to disclose the number at some point.

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