Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How North Korea is Reacting to Ebola

** this post describes a series of controversial and misinformed articles published in North Korea and should not be taken with any degree of seriousness**

The country with probably the least to fear regarding the spread of Ebola is taking the most measures. North Korea already has restricted travel to the country. In response to the outbreak, North Korea closed its borders to all tourists and quarantines anyone who enters the state for 21 days. North Korea has taken even more protective measures, requesting protective medical supplies from its sworn enemy South Korea.


The Korean Central News Agency, KCNA, has spread fears of the virus. It launched an educational campaign about the virus and may be taking measures to visit schools.  KCNA also released a short article (http://kcnawatch.nknews.org/article/eu7n) depicting graphic pictures of people being treated for the terrible disease by doctors in hazmat suits, saying that the virus has spread all over the world. North Koreans have limited access to other news information and such extreme articles certainly have elicited fears among the public.

As of December 2, 2014, KCNA has taken even more drastic measures, now accusing the US of starting the virus in an attempt at biological warfare. They claimed to learn the news of the US’s strategy to start a world-wide epidemic from an ex-aide of US President Ronald Reagan, who the news named “Roberts”, which could be referring to Paul Craig Roberts—an economist, known for controversial blog posts. The UN condemned the country for its human right’s violation just a few weeks ago; it seems all too coincidental to likewise condemn the US.

The article says the US gave $140 million (USD) to a pharmaceutical company to develop the virus and use Africa as its testing ground, and claims that the US has a vaccine for the virus that it refuses to share with the world. KCNA closes the article that the US started the AIDS epidemic and is the largest possessor of nukes in the world.  A reporter suggested that North Koreas ‘fear of the foreign’ is clearly greater than its desire to join an international community.

--Will St. Amant

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