On today's segment of VIEW POINT we address North Korea's suspected COVID-19 crisis.
After confirming its first outbreak of OMICRON on May 12th that is precisely two weeks ago North Korean authorities claim fever cases have been raging across the nation since late April.
For more on the situation across the border I have Professor David Kwak from Soon Chun Hyang University.
Professor Kwak welcome back.
I also have Professor Justin Fendos at Dongseo University LIVE on the LINE.
Professor Fendos it's good to see you again.
1) Professor Kwak as of this Thursday North Korea says over 10% of its ROUGHLY 26-MILLION people have fallen ill with fever while 68 have lost their lives.
What do these tallies tell you about the situation up North?
2-1) Professor Fendos I understand you assembled a statistical model to forecast the potential impact of the pandemic in North Korea in terms of case counts hospitalization and fatality rate.
Do tell us a bit about your findings and HOW they COMPARE with the ACTUAL statistics disclosed by North Korea.
2-2) Professor Fendos simply speaking then what are your thoughts on North Korea’s tallies regarding its suspected COVID-19 cases?
3) Meanwhile Professor Kwak concerns have been raised about the emergence of new variants in North Korea given its unvaccinated status.
Do you share these concerns?
And if so what may be the broader regional implications of such a reality?
4) Professor Fendos North Korea on Wednesday engaged in additional acts of provocation by test-launching ballistic missiles.
How do these blatant shows of defiance look to affect possible medical assistance to the regime from the international community?
5) Professor Kwak North Korea has reportedly rejected offers of COVID-19 vaccines citing breakthrough infections and has instead requested treatment support.
That being said what medical support do you believe is necessary?
6) Professor Fendos according to Radio Free Asia the lack of proper treatment has also led to a number of STILLBIRTHS in North Korea.
Apparently pregnant women who test positive for COVID-19 are quarantined and offered two painkillers a day.
What look to be the broader repercussions of such inadequate medical attention?
7) Moving foward Professor Kwak it has been reported that Pyeongyang is seeking medical aid from Beijing and Moscow.
Now both these countries have their own set of challenges to address.
Do you believe appropriate assistance will be available?
8) Professor Fendos also on North Korea's efforts to contain this health crisis do you suppose the implementation of stringent lockdowns like those seen in China may serve to help curb the contagion up across the border?
9) Professor Kwak the last time we spoke here in the studio we touched upon rising cases of hepatitis in children.
Now in recent days concerns are mounting over cases of monkeypox in adults across Europe and the U.S.
What more can you tell us about this fresh health challenge?
10) Professor Fendos the global health body claims the current monkeypox outbreak reported in at least 19 countries outside of Africa is “containable".
Do you agree?
11) Professor Kwak health authorities here have said they are closely monitoring the situation with regard to monkeypox. What are risks of an outbreak here and are we prepared?
12) Professor Fendos back on the pandemic front some observers believe the future may be grimmer for North Korea once the season transitions to usher in the chilly weather.
What is your outlook?