Saturday, January 23, 2021

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, family given experimental coronavirus vaccine from China, analyst says

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family were recently given an experimental coronavirus vaccine from China, a US analyst said on Tuesday.

The Kims were vaccinated “within the last two to three weeks thanks to a vaccine candidate supplied by the Chinese government,” Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington, wrote in an article for the online outlet 19FortyFive.

Kazianis added that it’s unclear which Chinese company provided its COVID-19 vaccine candidate or if it was proven to be safe.

NORTH KOREA TIGHTENING BORDERS TO BUILD ‘WALL OF DEFENSE’ AGAINST COVID-19

In this Nov. 15, 2020, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Politburo in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

At least three Chinese companies were developing a coronavirus vaccine, including Sinophram Group, Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and CanSinoBio, Kazianis said, citing US medical scientist Peter Hotez.

None of the companies are known to have launched Phase 3 clinical trials of their coronavirus drugs. But Sinophram has said nearly one million in China have used its vaccine candidate.

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North Korea has not reported any coronavirus infections. But experts outside the country have been skeptical of that claim — pointing out that it shares a border with China, the original source of the outbreak.

The vaccination news comes as the Hermit Kingdom was reported to have beefed up security at its borders to defend against the pandemic.

This article first appeared in the New York Post.

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