Mounting concerns over the Ebola virus has prompted North Korea to request help from South Korea in its efforts to prevent the contagion from entering and spreading within the country.
During a government audit of the Health and Welfare Committee on October 27th, Kim Sung Joo, head of the Korean National
Red Cross, stated, “North Korea has requested medical
supplies to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.”
Ruling Saenuri Party representative Shin Kyung Rim responded by inquiring, “Do we know it’s true that Ebola was the trigger for North Korea’s request for quarantine and medical supplies?” Kim replied that it was indeed the truth and that the full details would be divulged at a later time.
Considering this fact, Rep. Shin remarked that according to China’s Hwangu News Agency, North Korea has forbidden foreigners from
entering the country to prevent the virus from spreading, and noted, “if a contagious virus enters an
area with a weak health care system like that of North Korea, it will quickly
become an epidemic.”
While North Korean state media has not
officially confirmed the closure, it did state, “At present, information
activities and strict border quarantine are being conducted in the country.
Foreign travelers and foreigners are subjected to a rigorous quarantine with
advanced facilities,” in a Rodong Sinmun article published on October 24th.
The article, titled, “Anti-Ebola Campaign Brisk in DPRK” declared that efforts were being made
to “develop preventive medicine against Ebola with regular hygienic and
anti-epidemic work” and provide the residents with “even better medical conditions.”
Another article appeared prior to this in the same publication, outlining general information about the disease and featuring a
number of photos of efforts to combat its spread in West Africa.