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Working Paper “The DPRK’s Covid-19 Outbreak and its Response” presented to “The 75th Anniversary Nagasaki Nuclear-Pandemic Nexus Scenario Project” published

It is published simultaneously by RECNA-Nagasaki University, Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (APLN), and Nautilus Institute and is published under a 4.0 International Creative Commons License the terms of which are found here.

The DPRK’s Covid-19 Outbreak and its Response
SHIN, Young-jeon
A Working Paper presented to
The 75th Anniversary Nagasaki Nuclear-Pandemic Nexus Scenario Project

About the Author

Shin, Young-jeon, is a professor at the Department of Preventive Medicine at Hanyang University School of Medicine, Seoul Korea. He is the Chief Editor of Health and Social Welfare Review and a Board Member of the Academy of Critical Health Policy and the Korean Association of Preventive Medicine.


On January 25, 2020, the DPRK shut down its border, switched to a state-run emergency quarantine system, organized a pan-ministerial organization, the Central People’s Committee for Health (CPCH), and established emergency command centers for epidemic response (ECCER) in provincial, county, and Ri-levels. Until now, it has continued to take the strongest Covid-19 quarantine measures in the world, including restricting cross border and regional movement.

The DPRK responded swiftly and strongly to past major outbreaks such as SARS (2002-2003), measles (2006-2007), swine flu (2009-2010), Ebola (2013-14), and MERS (2015), as well as the periodic outbreak of typhoid fever, cholera, etc. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the DPRK drew on its experience to implement aggressive measures such as border blocking, strengthening disinfection, and quarantine, as in response to past large-scale epidemic threats.

Covid-19 response, DPRK, South Korea, China, Inter-Korean relations, quarantine, case-surveillance, food security

Full text (PDF) is here.

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