Kim Jong Un Celebrated COVID-19 Win A Bit Early

( Just two weeks after Kim Jong-un declared victory over COVID-19, last Thursday, North Korea reported it found four new fever cases that may be related to COVID in the border region near China.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that healthcare workers were conducting genetic testing on samples taken from four people from the Ryanggang province who presented fevers to confirm whether or not the symptoms were caused by the “malignant epidemic.”

North Korea uses the terms “malignant epidemic” and “malignant virus” to describe COVID-19 and the coronavirus.

The areas where the fever cases were found were immediately locked down by authorities and tight restrictions will remain in place until healthcare workers can determine the cause of the fevers.

Pyongyang reported that there had been no confirmed cases of COVID in any region of North Korea since August 10 when Kim Jong-un declared victory over the virus and lifted the preventative measures in place.

Three months earlier, the country acknowledged an outbreak of COVID. After the outbreak, North Korea reported around 4.8 million “fever cases” throughout its predominantly unvaccinated population. However, it only linked a fraction of those cases to COVID-19.

In the outbreak that began in May, North Korean officials claimed only 74 people died, however, experts view this as an unusually low number considering the country’s limited public health infrastructure.

Kim claimed on August 10 that North Korea’s success over the virus would be seen as a global health miracle. However, experts suggest that Pyongyang has manipulated disclosures on its outbreak as a way to help Kim maintain absolute control.

According to some experts, Kim’s victory over COVID may have signaled the North Korean leader’s intent to move on to other priorities, including nuclear weapons testing.