- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2020

North Korea was so concerned about the spread of COVID-19 from China that it laid landmines along the border between the two countries, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday.

During a private meeting at the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly, South Korean lawmakers said they were told that North Korean leaders feared the virus would devastate the reclusive country. North Korea lacks infrastructure and medical facilities to deal with a widespread outbreak.

The landmines presumably were intended to stop anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 from crossing into North Korea.

“Since there is no physical or technical means to deal with the coronavirus, there is something like coronavirus trauma in North Korea,” South Korean Rep. Ha Tae-keung said lawmakers were told during the meeting with intelligence officials. “The North has blocked its borders and buried landmines in parts of the border areas with China.”

North Korean officials have privately predicted that as many as 500,000 of its people could die if the coronavirus spreads throughout the country. Pyongyang also has instituted a policy that any public official who fails to contain the virus could be sentenced to death, Yonhap reported.

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