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North Korea Reports COVID-19 Cases Surging To 350,000 From 1 In Single Day Ahead Of Biden Asia Visit

At least six people have died due to COVID-19, and more than 350,000 are infected in North Korea as an “explosive” coronavirus outbreak takes a toll on the isolated nation, the country’s state media KCNA confirmed, according to CNN.

This comes a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un confirmed the first-ever COVID-19 case in the hermit kingdom.

See Also: North Korea Reports First-Ever COVID-19 Case 2 Years Into Pandemic, Kim Jong-un Orders ‘Serious Emergency

What Happened: North Korea is reporting COVID-19 cases for the first time since the pandemic started in 2020.

Experts believe that given North Korea’s limited testing capabilities, the numbers it is reporting represent a small fraction of the infections, Reuters reported.  

They also reportedly predicted that this could lead to thousands of deaths in one of only two countries without a COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Why It Matters: For more than two years, North Korea claimed to have kept the situation at bay by imposing a rigid COVID-19 blockade of its borders.

North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles toward the sea in the middle of this reported outbreak, according to the Associated Press. The Biden administration has said the country could be preparing for a nuclear test ahead of the U.S. president’s Asia visit.
Joe Biden is expected to be in Japan and South Korea from May 20-24.

See Also: Kim Jong Un Said To Celebrate With New Portraits, Exhibitions As He Completes 10 Years As Leader

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