North Korea reports first COVID-19 case

North Korea has been especially closed off for more than three years due to the pandemic
North Korea officer, Oct. 29, 2020

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un called for increasing COVID-19 restrictions to maximum levels after announcing the country's first coronavirus case more than two years since the pandemic began.

An unspecified number of people tested positive for the omicron variant in Pyongyang, the Hermit Kingdom's capital, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

The ruling Korean Workers’ Party’s Politburo met and Kim reportedly called on officials to decrease the number of cases as quickly as possible.

"The single-minded public unity is the most powerful guarantee that can win in this anti-pandemic fight," Kim said at the meeting, KCNA stated.

North Korea had not reported any COVID cases before this. The country closed its border to nearly all visitors and trade for two years, making the already weak economy even worse.

The dictatorship has rejected offers for vaccines from the U.N.-backed COVAX program.