US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States had offered Pyongyang a vaccine for the Covid-19 vaccine but had received “no response” despite a spiraling outbreak in North Korea, where about 2.5 million people had fallen ill with “fever”.
Biden, who is in Seoul on the first visit of the Asian president, said the United States and South Korea had also made a new offer of aid to Pyongyang, but it had not been heard.
“We have offered the vaccine not only to North Korea, but also to China, and we are ready to do it immediately,” he told a news conference in Seoul.
“We have not received any response,” he added.
North Korea reported the first case of Omicron earlier this month, and despite an “extremely urgent” epidemic campaign, the virus has ravaged its 25 million unvaccinated population.
On Saturday, North Korean state media reported that about 2.5 million people had fallen ill with “fever” since the outbreak began, with 66 confirmed deaths.
It added that the country had “intensified” its anti-epidemic campaign.
Biden and the new South Korean president, Eun Sook-eol, on Saturday expressed concern over the outbreak of the North Korean spiral Kovid-19.
“ROK and the United States are committed to working with the international community to assist DPRK in combating the virus,” they said in a joint statement.
Experts warn of a major health crisis in the north, with some of the worst health care systems in the world.
The poor country lacks well-equipped hospitals, a few intensive care units, and the ability to administer drugs or mass tests.
Eun said aid was being offered to Pyongyang in accordance with “humanitarian policy, separate from political and military issues.”
The two leaders separately announced that they would look at increasing joint military exercises in response to the “threat” posed by North Korea, a suggestion likely to anger Pyongyang, which sees the exercise as an exercise in aggression.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)