North Korea has laid landmines along its border in an attempt to keep out coronavirus.
Seoul’s National Intelligence Service reported the extreme measures taken by the secretive state, at the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
North Korea is especially terrified of Covid-19 spreading across the country because of its poor medical infrastructure, according to Rep. Ha Tae-Keung of the main opposition People Power Party.
Ha told the NIS: “Since there are no physical or technical means to deal with the coronavirus, there is something like coronavirus trauma in North Korea.”
Emergency law in the country states that anyone who fails to control the disease could be sentenced to death.
The NIS saw a document from a meeting of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party on Feb 27 that warned that up to half a million people could die in North Korea following an outbreak in the country.
Ha said: “The North has blocked its borders and buried landmines in parts of the border areas with China.
“There are cases where critical patients were transported by rail wagons because there is a risk of transmission if they are transported by train.
“Officials who brought in goods via a customs office in August were punished on a large scale.”
The NIS also reported the North is not receiving any supplies from the outside, including from South Korea, due to coronavirus fears.
Kim Jong-un is believed to be hiding North Korea’s coronavirus victims from the rest of the world by keeping them in “quarantine camps”, a humanitarian aid worker has claimed.
Sources told Christian activist Tim Peters, who runs Helping Hands Korea, based in Seoul, that camps have been built to house the patients near the Chinese border.
Peters told the South China Morning Post that the victims inside the camps were not receiving proper medical attention and patients are currently being left to starve to death.
The activist said he was “alarmed” to discover that Mr Kim’s Government “is providing absolutely minimal or no food or medicine to those who are interred there”.
Tim said: “My sources indicate many in these camps have already died, not only from the pandemic but also from starvation and related causes.”