08/14/2020, 14.02
NORTH KOREA
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Kim Jong-un refuses flood aid, citing COVID-19 risk

Pyongyang will cope with a flood emergency with its own means. For North Korea’s leader, the worsening pandemic requires tighter borders. The floods damaged thousands of hectares of land. The Yongbyon nuclear facility is at risk. Lockdown in Kaesong was lifted.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Due to the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic, North Korea will not accept foreign aid in connection with the country’s latest floods, KCNA reported.

North Korea’s official news agency cited leader Kim Jong-un during an emergency meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Kim stressed that the country will face the flood emergency with its own means, and that the worsening pandemic requires an even tighter closure of the borders.

Floods reportedly damaged or destroyed 39,296 hectares of cropland, 16,680 homes and some 630 public buildings across the country, KCNA said.

For 38north.org, a website dedicated to North Korea, the Yongbyon nuclear scientific research centre, which is key to North Korea’s nuclear programme, is also at risk.

Meanwhile, Kim lifted the lockdown imposed on the border city of Kaesong, where a deserter was arrested last month after returning from the South. He is suspected of having contracted the coronavirus.

Despite scepticism in the international scientific community, North Korea claims that it has not recorded any COVID-19 cases so far.

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