Kim Jong-un’s inhumane COVID fix
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has executed at least two people and locked down the capital in a COVID-19 lockdown effort, a South Korean spy agency said today.
After a briefing in Seoul, one lawmaker said Kim was taking "irrational measures" over the pandemic.
Ha Tae-keung said the National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers that the dictator had executed a well-known money changer in Pyongyang last month after holding a person responsible for the falling exchange rate.
In August a key official was executed for violating government regulations on restricting goods brought from abroad, Ha said quoting NIS officials.
Neither of the people executed were identified.
In a bizarre bid to save the country from the COVID-19 pandemic North Korea has also banned fishing and salt production at sea to prevent seawater from being infected with the virus.
Ha informed reporters that earlier this month Pyongyang was shutdown over virus concerns.
Today sources told Reuters that hackers suspected to be from North Korea targeted coronavirus vaccine maker AstraZeneca with bogus WhatsApp and LinkedIn messages
According to Reuters, the hackers posed as recruiters on networking site LinkedIn and WhatsApp and approached AstraZeneca staff with fake job offers.
The alleged hackers then sent documents purporting to be job descriptions laced with malicious code, designed to gain access to a victim's computer.
Earlier this month, it was reported that North Korea had been taking other extreme measures to fend off the virus which included laying landmines in the border areas with China.
The agency warned that North Korea is taking the extraordinary steps amid fears COVID-19 could have devastating consequences on the country because of its poor medical infrastructure.
Insiders from the NIS revealed that there is "something like coronavirus trauma in North Korea".
'PUNISHED ON A LARGE SCALE'
"The North has blocked its borders and buried landmines in parts of the border areas with China," Ha said, speaking to reporters again earlier this month
Its emergency law stipulates officials who fail to control the disease could be sentenced to death, according to the NIS.
"There are cases where critical patients were transported by rail wagons because there is a risk of transmission if they are transported by train," he explained.
The NIS also reported the North is not receiving any supplies from the outside, including from South Korea, due to coronavirus fears.
"Officials who brought in goods via a customs office in August were punished on a large scale," Ha said.
A document from a meeting of the North's ruling Workers' Party on February 27 warned that up to 500,000 people could die if the virus spreads in the country, according to the NIS.
The secretive country's autocratic leader Kim Jong-un has claimed there are no cases of COVID-19 in North Korea, despite neighbours South Korea reporting around 27,000 infections and 474 deaths and China topping 91,000 cases and more than 4,700 deaths.
Analysts have said it is highly unlikely the country of almost 26 million people has experienced no coronavirus cases at all.
Campaigners claim despot Jong-un is hiding the true horrors inflicted by the killer pandemic from the rest of the world by hiding victims in secret "quarantine camps".
Coronavirus "quarantine camps" have been purpose-built for patients in cities near the Chinese border, sources have told Tim Peters, a Christian activist who runs Seoul-based NGO Helping Hands Korea.
But, he said those isolated in the camps are not receiving proper medical attention, and are being left to starve to death.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Kim Jong-un's inhumane COVID fix