Seoul, November 30: North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was administered with a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China, reports citing Japanese intelligence sources claimed on Monday. Along with Kim, members of his family and high ranking North Korean officials were also given the shots that are aimed at preventing the coronavirus infection.
While the secretive regime in Pyongyang has remained tight-lipped on the procurement of vaccines in North Korea, its only major ally China has also remained silent on whether it is in talks to supply vaccines to the nation. North Korea Military Parade 2020: In Keynote Speech, Kim Jong-Un Reiterates Claim of 'No COVID-19 Infection' in Country.
Two credible Japanese intelligence sources, while speaking to 19fortyfive claimed that the vaccine for Kim, his family members and select-officials of North Korean regime was sent by the Chinese government. They were administered with the shots "within the last two or three weeks", the sources claimed.
Kim, while addressing the North Korea Military Day Parade last month, stressed on maintaining "zero COVID-19 cases" in the country. His claim, however, has been doubted by experts. The lack of free press and international media in the totalitarian nation has restricted the flow of accurate information.
The Pyongyang government had, in January this year, completely sealed its borders and issued shoot at sight order for anyone who trespasses the border from neighbouring nations.
In recent weeks, reports have claimed, the country has intensified the restrictions placed on movement of people. This has led to the speculation of a local outbreak. Fishing and salt manufacturing activity has also been suspended by the government. Reports in neighbouring South Korea had claimed that an official was "executed" for violating the restrictions.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 30, 2020 11:01 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).