Seoul, Nov 17 (IANS) The South Korean Unification Ministry announced on Tuesday that North Korea was unlikely to ease its border restrictions “for the time being” as the country appeared to remain on high alert against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Recently, there was some media speculation that the border closure between the North and China will be lifted, but the North has taken tougher virus preventive measures as seen in the politburo meeting,” Yonhap News Agency quoted a Ministry official as saying.
“Given that other countries are also taking tougher preventive measures amid worries over a resurgence in time for winter, the North is not likely to ease its border closure for the time being,” the official added.
Although North Korea claims to be coronavirus-free, it has maintained tight border closure with China since earlier this year.
The prolonged border closure is believed to be taking a toll on its fragile economy already under the stain of global sanctions, said the Yonhap News Agency report.
On Monday, the North’s state media reported that leader Kim Jong-un held a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party and stressed the need to “keep a high alert, build a tight blocking wall and further intensify the anti-epidemic work”.