The United States is calling on North Korea to work with the international community to conduct a rapid COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the country, State Department principal deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said on Thursday.
“We are very concerned about how COVID-19 could affect the North Korean people, and we continue to support the provision of vaccines to the DPRK,” Patel told a briefing. “We continue to support international efforts aimed at the provision of critical humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable North Koreans. Should the DPRK request vaccines, we stand ready to offer them. And we urge and reiterate for the DPRK to work with the international community to facilitate the rapid vaccination of its population.”
To date, Pyongyang has refused all vaccine donations from the international vaccine-sharing mechanism COVAX.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has announced victory over the coronavirus outbreak in his country, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.
North Korea reported first cases of COVID-19 in May. It later declared an emergency over an explosive increase in the number of coronavirus patients.