- Title: Isolated North Korea should allow outside coronavirus help: U.N.
- Date: 9th March 2020
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (MARCH 9, 2020) (REUTERS) UNITED NATIONS BUILDING UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA, TOMAS QUINTANA, ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA, TOMAS QUINTANA, SAYING: "Finally, I referred to the situation of COVID-19 in the country. I can further discuss with you about it, it's very complicated, there are a combination of factors that make the reality in North Korea quite challenging, but I really believe that isolation of the country is not the answer and there is a need for the government to open up to the help of the international community and for the international community to reviewing some of the positions with regards to North Korea and one of those positions has to do with the issue of sanctions." JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA, TOMAS QUINTANA, SAYING: "But this account that I refer to tells a lot about the dire conditions of the prisoners in these camps with regard to the lack of food, the lack of health services and hard labour which is, it is a combination of factors that put these people of course in a critical risk if there is an outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country." JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA, TOMAS QUINTANA, SAYING: "The risk with regard to this virus is not only of the prisoners in these camps, but those populations in the countryside where they are really, you know, they have been left on their own, with regard to basic accesses. So, an outbreak of this, in this part of the country will be quite serious in terms of consequences. I even quoted the leadership's statement, Kim Jon Un, that he himself recognized that an outbreak in the country will bring us serious consequences for the population." VARIOUS OF NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS U.N. SPHERE AND FLAG U.N. FLAG
- Keywords: COVID-19 North Korea United Nations coronavirus
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4C0407
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:02:44
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text:A U.N. human rights investigator urged reclusive North Korea on Monday (March 9) to allow full access for medical and humanitarian experts amid concern the coronavirus could hit malnourished people hard.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says North Korea has not reported any cases, despite bordering China where the epidemic started and South Korea which is suffering a major outbreak.
Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur for rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), reiterated concerns on Monday about political prison camps and "pervasive" surveillance. But he acknowledged "extensive efforts" by Pyongyang's government to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.
North Korea has limited medical capabilities, Quintana added.
Germany, France and Switzerland closed their diplomatic missions in North Korea and withdrew staff on Monday amid concern over the coronavirus, the Russian embassy said.
The WHO has said it is already providing supplies and is ready to send personnel should North Korea report a case.
(Production: Cecile Mantovani)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:23rd March 2020 15:07
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None