North Korea is concerned about the cross-border spread of COVID after China loosened its pandemic curbs.

According to Yonhap News Agency, North Korea authorities have ordered its traders to purchase antipyretic, antibiotics and other drugs that can be used for COVID as soon as possible.

The order came as North Korea’s freight trains with their neighbor may be suspended again due to the new outbreaks from mainland China.

Now the COVID situation in North Korea is stable. However, the pandemic in China is spreading rapidly, especially after Beijing announced measures scaling back testing and quarantine requirements and limiting lockdowns in a response to the recent White Paper Movement.

Yonhap citing traders revealed that since China relaxed its pandemic prevention policy, North Korea has begun to order painkillers, antibiotics, and oral antiviral drugs. The number of purchase orders of fever-reducing drugs and other items increased significantly compared with the past.

One source said that North Korean authorities, worried about the possible spread of the pandemic across borders, have instructed their traders to complete the purchase of needed supplies around the Chinese New Year.

According to the Human Rights Watch, the North Korean government has increased security along its northern border for months, using COVID as the justification.

North Korea has imposed excessive and unnecessary Covid measures since January 2020.

The North Korean authorities claimed that the measures are necessary to contain the pandemic. They have built or upgraded fences, guard posts, patrol roads, and other infrastructure on the border.

The increased border security has almost stopped unauthorized cross-border economic activity, contributing to severe shortages of food, medicine, and other necessities. 

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