“Deflated” reveals the contradictions of North Korea’s response to COVID-19. The country still maintains that it has no COVID-19 cases, which is almost laughable if not for the seriousness of the pandemic. There have been a steady stream of reports suggesting the pandemic has indeed hit North Korea, and the country recently announced ominously that it would put its schools on another one-month vacation starting in July. As if dealing with the pandemic isn’t enough, North Korea’s leadership has chosen to lash out viciously toward South Korea, perhaps ending hopes for inter-Korean reconciliation for the time being. The country’s focus of ire this time was on defector-activists in South Korea sending balloons full of leaflets, among other things, across the inter-Korean border. On top of blowing up the inter-Korean liaison office, Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, has reportedly ordered the country to send its own leaflets over the border in retaliation as if, it seems, she doesn’t have anything else more worthy of her attention.
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