Kim Jong-un has declared a state of emergency after a suspected case of coronavirus was discovered in North Korea.
State media reports that a North Korean citizen, who is displaying typical symptoms of the infectious disease, returned to the hermit kingdom after illegally crossing the border into South Korea.
The case is yet to be officially confirmed but to date, North Korean authorities have said the country has never had a coronavirus.
According to the regime’s state news, the person who brought the suspected coronavirus into North Korea had crossed into South Korea three years ago but has now decided to return home.
A lockdown has since been imposed on the border city of Kaesong.
This is an unusual move as most citizens of North Korea would never voluntarily return to the country after escaping for fear of punishment.
North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said: “An emergency event happened in Kaesong City where a runaway who went to the south three years ago, a person who is suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus, returned on July 19 after illegally crossing the demarcation line.”
This could put the dictator’s idea of turning North Korea into a golfers’ paradise after giving the nation’s only course a makeover on hold.
His state media released a four-minute video to unveil the new-look 18-hole course and hotel in the capital Pyongyang.
It boasts a swimming pool, table tennis court, fitness centre, a restaurant and a golf boutique.
And guests rooms have an electronic rice cooker.
A course spokesperson told the nation’s Naenara news outlet the design aims to “inspire golf pros, enthusiasts and regular clients” to play the game and enjoy themselves.