Yonhap: North Korea sent 3 planes to China to receive medical supplies
These are North Korea’s first international flights since the beginning of the pandemic – Illustration: YONHAP
Yonhap news agency, citing unnamed sources, said that three aircraft of the Korean national airline Air Koryo flew to Shenyang city, Liaoning province, northeast China on May 16. The planes then returned to North Korea, carrying medical supplies.
According to Reuters news agency, these are North Korea’s first international flights since the first official COVID-19 cases were recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan more than two years ago.
“It is possible that North Korea will send more flights because the number of (supplies) transported this time does not seem to be enough,” a source told Yonhap.
Page NK News South Korea also reported satellite images showing “unusual activity” around the international airport in Pyongyang on May 15. This could be a sign of preparations for flights.
A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said it was not aware of the report and did not detail whether China provided any aid to North Korea.
Earlier, China said that it would help North Korea fight the epidemic if Pyongyang asked Beijing for help.
Last week, North Korea said it had recorded its first outbreak of COVID-19. As of May 16, North Korea reported a total of 1.48 million people with fever symptoms, including 56 deaths. They do not disclose how many people have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), pharmaceutical factories across the country have ramped up production. About 11,000 staff, lecturers and students from medical institutions across the country have been mobilized to examine and treat people with fever.
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