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North Korea’s chief Kim Jong-Un earlier than a gathering with US President Donald Trump on the south facet of the Army Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, within the Joint Safety Space (JSA) of Panmunjom within the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Photographs

Kim Jong Un seems to have kicked North Korea’s pandemic prevention plan into overdrive, additional tightening the nation’s almost impassible borders, chopping off almost all commerce with China, and even allegedly executing a customs official for failing to deal with imported items appropriately. 

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Beijing exported simply $253,000 value of products to Pyongyang in October — a drop of 99% from September to October, according to data printed by China’s customs administration. For context, that is much less by way of greenback worth than China exported to Liechtenstein and Monaco throughout October. 

Why that issues: China is North Korea’s greatest buying and selling accomplice and successfully the Kim regime’s financial lifeline — the nation principally does not import considerably from anyplace else.

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Taking Covid severely: The brand new customs figures, if correct, present that Kim seems to be keen to pare again — and even reduce off — commerce with China to stop the virus from getting into North Korea, even when it means risking the nation’s meals and gas provide.

Alleged executions: North Korea has not publicly acknowledged the drop in commerce, or the explanation behind it, however the pandemic is the most probably rationalization. Kim reportedly had two individuals executed for Covid-19 associated crimes, together with a customs official who didn’t observe virus prevention guidelines whereas importing items from China. CNN has not been capable of independently affirm information of the execution, nor have North Korean officers publicly confirmed it.

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Different excessive measures: North Korean state media reported Sunday that authorities had been enacting new, stricter anti-epidemic measures throughout the nation, together with growing the variety of guard posts at border crossings and tightening the foundations of sea entry in coastal areas. Authorities have even been ordered to “incinerate seaborne garbage.”

Learn the complete evaluation:

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Analysis: Kim Jong Un is cutting off his economic lifeline, China, to stave off Covid-19



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