Since the start of the pandemic, intelligence related to North Korea has reportedly become scarce as the North shuttered its borders making it harder for U.S. authorities and human rights groups to gain a deeper understanding of the political calculations made by the regime.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that the North has become increasingly paranoid about the pandemic although it claims it is still virus-free.
North Korea had even sealed its border with its number one trading partner, China, which has exacerbated its shortages of food and medical supplies.
The lockdown has also prompted an exodus of foreigners including diplomats, aid workers and business envoys from North Korea.
The number of defectors has also dropped to its lowest level in 18 years.
The report also said contacting informants posed a challenge due to the heightened crackdown on the illegal use of cellphones.