West News Wire: The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is working to ship COVID-19 medical supplies into North Korea.

In a monitoring report this week, the WHO said it had started the shipment of essential COVID-19 medical supplies through the Chinese port of Dalian for “strategic stockpiling and further dispatch” to North Korea.

The move is a possible sign that North Korea is easing one of the world’s strictest pandemic border closures in order to receive outside help.

Describing its anti-virus campaign as a matter of “national existence,” North Korea had severely restricted cross-border traffic and trade for the past two years despite the strain on its already crippled economy.

In August, United Nations human rights investigators asked the North Korean government to clarify allegations that it ordered troops to shoot on sight any trespassers who crossed its borders in violation of its pandemic closing.

North Korea has yet to report a single case of COVID-19. But outside experts doubt the country could have escaped an illness that has touched nearly every other place in the world.

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