North Korea surprised the world again.

But this time, not with what it usually surprises, not with the test of another miracle rocket, even more formidable and forcing politicians and diplomats in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington to tense up and tremble nervously.

Pyongyang’s launch of three ballistic missiles at once on Wednesday, which could be a test of a new hypersonic weapon, became an afterword to the completed Asian tour of US President Joe Biden and was taken not as a sensation, but as a matter of course.

On the eve of the American president's tour, intelligence warned that the North Korean leader might blow something up or shoot something on the occasion of the US president's visit, so Kim fired after him.

Meanwhile, the main sensation of recent days has been the transition of a country that has minimal contacts with the outside world to a complete lockdown - the first in more than 70 years of history of the Far Eastern hermit state, or the country of Juche, which in the West is sometimes called the preserve of communism.

The reason is an epidemic of a mysterious disease that has been spreading at the speed of a forest fire since the beginning of May and threatening to become a nationwide disaster...

Recall that on May 8, the first case of coronavirus BA.2, that is, the Omicron strain, was recorded in the DPRK.

Shortly thereafter, the North Korean news agency KCNA reported: “a major emergency occurred in the country, the anti-epidemic front was broken through, which has been reliably protected for two years and three months since February 2020.”

At a meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of the DPRK, convened a few days later, chaired by Kim Jong-un, it was decided to deal with the scourge as a kind of military threat.

The speech of the North Korean leader to the party activists is replete with wording reminiscent of wartime: “do everything to prevent security gaps”, “strengthen work at the borders and at the front”, transfer the national health system to the “maximum emergency quarantine”, “completely stop the spread of virus by carefully blocking it in all cities and regions of the country.

Another party directive is "to organize economic and production activities in such a way that every enterprise and residential building is isolated."

During the meeting of the North Korean Central Committee, local officials were seriously attacked for the "irresponsibility and incompetence of the quarantine sector" and interruptions in the supply of medicines (although the dismissals and arrests of the guilty have not yet reached).

In order to urgently arrange the delivery of medicines to the pharmacies of Pyongyang, the army was mobilized.

In addition, the Politburo issued an "emergency order for the immediate release and timely delivery of medicines from the state reserve" and "an order for all pharmacies to switch to round-the-clock operation."

However, less than two weeks after the meeting of the operational headquarters to combat the pandemic, it turned out that it cannot be defeated by administrative command methods and it continues to advance, confidently conquering the country.

By the end of May, despite a quick response and ultra-tough measures, the North Korean capital of Pyongyang went into a total lockdown.

Today, in a city of three million people, only enterprises of a continuous cycle and those structures on which its viability depends are working.

Case statistics show that by the end of May their number was 2.8 million people - about 11% of the population of a country of 25 million.

At the same time, as it turned out (another amazing feature of the country of Juche), its citizens are ill with something that cannot be called aloud.

According to the official version, there is no coronavirus pandemic in North Korea - it’s just that its citizens have a “high temperature syndrome”.

This euphemism to describe the coronavirus was not coined by chance.

Firstly, the country does not have the necessary capacities and conditions for mass testing.

Secondly, since the first days of the global pandemic, the North Korean media have been telling the population about the “horrors of COVID-19”.

Being convinced that nothing like this could happen in their country, back in 2020, the DPRK authorities closed the borders and refused to accept the supply of coronavirus vaccines provided to North Korea under the international COVAX mechanism.

After that, the COVAX quota for the allocation of drugs to the DPRK was canceled and the vaccines were redirected to other countries.

Be that as it may, the theme of a carefully planned North Korean missile test is bizarrely superimposed on the theme of an unplanned North Korean pandemic of unprecedented proportions, the development of which remains an equation with many unknowns.

Meanwhile, the US reaction to the threat of a covid apocalypse on the Korean Peninsula turned out to be very symbolic.

During his Asian tour, President Biden actually bypassed this topic and, when asked by journalists what he would like to convey to Kim Jong-un, he replied: “Hello.


In turn, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Washington “currently has no bilateral plans to share vaccines with the DPRK,” reprimanding Pyongyang for refusing to provide vaccines through the international COVAX mechanism.

In general, they themselves are to blame for what they fought for, they ran into that.

“We have never seen the DPRK regime prioritize the humanitarian needs of its own people over these destabilizing programs that pose a threat to peace and security in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions and beyond,” Ned Price commented on Pyongyang’s missile tests.

The lack of American interest in promptly helping North Korea, which has been heavily sanctioned, in the fight against the mysterious “Koreevirus” pandemic is quite understandable.

Why, then, save the regime in Pyongyang, if the main strategic task of the United States for more than a decade has been to shake this regime from within and achieve its change.

And why send vaccines and medicines to this obedient, speechless people, unable to rise up and host some kind of colorful “garlic revolution” or “kimchi revolution” to end the Kim dynastic dictatorship.

These people with such rulers have what they deserve, so let them sit without vaccines, argue in Washington.

So, as Joe Biden said, hello.


The point of view of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors.