Kim Jong Un has locked down the capital & killed people in effort to keep the virus at bay
Reports of the North Korean leader's behavior come from South Korea's National Intelligence Service
According to reports from South Korea's spy agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for the execution of at least two people, in addition to locking down the capital city of Pyongyang. His actions, which also include banning fishing at sea, are part of a panicked effort to protect his borders from the novel coronavirus.
Kim also reportedly told North Korean diplomats overseas not to act in any way that could potentially provoke the United States. He is gearing up for a different approach toward North Korea from Joe Biden.
Ha Tae-keung, one of the lawmakers briefed by the South Koreans, said Kim is displaying "excessive anger," and taking "irrational measures" due to the coronavirus pandemic and the potential economic ruin it could bring to North Korea.
One of the individuals Kim ordered to be executed last month was reportedly a high-profile currency changer in the nation's capital. Kim grew angry at the individual for the falling exchange rate of the North Korean currency.
Pyongyang and the northern Jagang province of North Korea were recently placed under lockdown as virus rates have increased.
North Korea has maintained that the government has not found a single coronavirus case within its borders -- a claim that has been widely disputed by observers and experts outside the country. However, the pandemic did force North Korea to close off its border with China, its largest trading partner and economic benefactor.
North Korea's current trade with China has totaled only about 25% of the numbers it did last year -- dealing a massive blow to the North Korean economy, even without a major outbreak of the novel coronavirus. As a result, the price of basic goods like sugar and spices in North Korea have shot up dramatically during the first 10 months of the year.