Press Release

Isolation of North Korea Aggravates amid Covid-19: Resumption of Humanitarian Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Urgently Needed

  • Date 2022-05-10
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The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) has published Health and Welfare Issue & Focus, No. 421, "Making Use of Humanitarian Exemptions to Sanctions against North Korea in the Health and Welfare Sectors."  The lead researcher of the research this brief summaries is Cho Sungeun, a research fellow at KIHASA.

Since the UN Security Council imposed comprehensive economic sanctions on North Korea in 2016, its economy has been in dire shape, Cho says. According to him, North Korea, following the covid-19 pandemic, closed its borders and repatriated all Pyongyang-based representatives of international organizations, choosing to isolate itself from the rest of the world; and this self-imposed isolation is known to have aggravated its supplies shortage.

Cho said, "North Korea's isolation is aggravating its people's livelihoods. Especially as regards children, the nutrition problem that North Korea has could, if left untackled, well engender the problem of population quality in the event of an inter-Korean reunification. It is also a matter of humanitarian concern for universal human rights." "There is a growing need to deliver humanitarian assistance to North Korea via various channels, including government agencies, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations, given that North Kora is in dire need, since the covid-19 pandemic in particular, for medical supplies including vaccine doses, emergency medicines, and diagnostic medical devices. Such humanitarian aid efforts should be made use of fully as a means of shifting the current conflict into resolution," he stressed.

Click Research in Brief 2022-8, "Making Use of Humanitarian Exemptions to Sanctions against North Korea in the Health and Welfare Sectors," for the full translation of this issue of Health and Welfare Issue & Focus.

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