According to the Washington Post, Kim Jong Un is placing pressure on his politburo members warning that if they fail to contain the Coronavirus outbreak, they may publicly be executed via anti-aircraft missile in front of the people. North Korea was actually one of the first countries to close its border with China, beating Russia by a few days.
According to Forbes, North Korea’s leadership has declared the prevention of the spread of coronavirus a matter of “national survival” and moved rapidly to close its borders to halt the spread of the virus. Indeed, coronavirus could prove an existential threat to North Korea, given the manifest vulnerabilities of the country’s public health system to the transmission of infectious diseases. So far, North Korea is relying on quarantines and strict transportation restrictions to stop the contagion.
Will this be enough? Will North Korea not need as well, proper treatments? Collection of data to obtain proper data to find a cure. Then there may be the need for vacations. Otherwise, the population will hide in fear, risking even further contamination. The headline is somewhat of a joke. But it is no laughing matter. We are not sure if Coronavirus is a pandemic, but playing Political Pandemics, threatening executions is a sure way to turn it into one.
Click here for a good realtime view of the Coronavirus situation. Below is today’s still shot of this map:
But it is not just North Korea. Right now we are beginning to see political pundits right here in the US make political points with the Coronavirus. What did Rahm Emanuel say – “you never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
Democratic presidential candidates have criticized President Trump’s claim that the coronavirus is the Democrats’ “new hoax.” Suggesting the Trump is claiming that the Coronavirus itself is a hoax, rather than understanding his point that Democrats are politicizing Coronavirus for their own benefit. This is the hoax. But the media will spin it against Trump.
Former senior communications adviser for President Trump’s 2016 campaign Jason Miller warned that the November 2020 election could be a race over which leader can guard the United States against the Coronavirus outbreak. Let’s hope he is wrong. Trump is not a medical authority and he has the apparatus of the state’s health officials – of which he is using. We would do well to keep politics out of this situation and act with decency and common sense.
For North Korea or any other country, viruses do not discriminate by nationality. Unlike the best sanctions regime, viruses can exploit a failed public healthcare system that is part of North Korea’s failed regime. North Korea would be best advised to work with international healthcare officials to contain the outbreak. This is good advice here in the developed world as well, for those who choose to play Political Pandemics with the Coronavirus. To not do so, could be catastrophic.